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Myers-Briggs Personality Types of Children—Extraverted Kids

Do children’s personalities remain consistent over the years? If they’re happy babies, will they be happy adults? Or do experiences early in life play a major role in what they become?

Psychologists believe that both are true. According to experts in Myers-Briggs personality testing, people are born with certain traits or tendencies. Their attitudes and behaviors may be modified by the environment over time, but they don’t disappear entirely. The child who likes to play catch and climb trees will probably be an athletic grown-up. The one who reads books in her room for hours is more likely to be a scholar.

A previous blog described introverted children—quiet, shy types. This one is about extraverted (I) children—kids who are outgoing and enjoy social activities. There are eight types of extraverts according to Myers-Briggs theory. They differ in the combinations of the other three pairs of traits on the personality test: 1) sensing (S) and intuition (N); 2) feeling (F) and thinking (T); and 3) perceiving (P) and judging (J). The scores on four pairs range from one extreme to another, with some close to the middle.

Sensing (S) kids are observant and aware of all the details around them. Intuitive (N) types are more thoughtful and rely on hunches. Feeling (F) children make decisions based on how they’ll affect other people. Those of the thinking (T) type depend on logic and are less likely to focus on outcomes. Perceiving (P) children are easy-going and move from one activity to another. Those with a judging (J) preference are more focused and like to finish things.

Rambunctious Kids
ESTP: Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving

estp-kidESTP children are rambunctious kids. They think their lives should be action-packed and full of fun. When things get boring, they stir them up. Because of their outgoing personalities, they make friends easily and enjoy group activities.

Many are good at sports and work hard to improve their athletic skills. Dancing and other physical activities that involve cooperation also appeal to them. They appreciate nature and are curious about the things they find outdoors. They like being in the fresh air. School is less important to them than real-life experience and socializing. Parents who look for high academic achievement in their ESTP offspring may be disappointed by the grades they bring home.

Responsible Kids
ESTJ: Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking and Judging

estj-kidESTJ children are logical and organized. They’re responsible, obedient kids, respecting the standards set by adults. They get upset when grown-up rules are changed suddenly—unless they’re given a clear reason. For fun, they enjoy doing things that produce results, such as competing in games. Follow-through is their motto. They don’t understand people who go about things in a haphazard way.

When ESTJ kids take up sports or hobbies, they go to great pains to do them well. The child who wants to learn gymnastics, for example, is diligent about getting to all the practices. They like to have their skills tested. Indeed, they like to have all their accomplishments measured. Parents find that coaching and lessons usually pay off for these kids.

Affectionate Kids
ESFP: Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving

esfp-kidChildren of the ESFP personality type show their generous, caring nature from the time they’re toddlers. They’re warm, active and full of life. They like to be held and show affection by touching people. They want to bring happiness to those around them. Sometimes, though, they’re self-conscious whey they’re on the receiving end.

ESFPs have sharp eyes. Very little escapes their attention. They tune into the moods of people and notice subtleties in their behaviors. They like to include others in their activities. As observers of life, they point out interesting things to family and friends. These bright and sunny children sail though life with little caution. Parents sometimes worry about their willingness to take risks.

Generous Kids
ESFJ: Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling and Judging

esfj-kidChildren with ESFJ personalities are responsible and cooperative. They thrive on praise and personal attention. They’ll put forth considerable effort to gain approval from grown-ups and friends. ESFJs try to do the right thing. Always concerned about the well being of others, they go out of their way to help those in distress—even when it involves making personal sacrifices.

As children, they like order and structure. They follow the rules and generally accept them without question. They’re upset by out-of-bounds behavior in other children. People who tell lies also disturb them. When the rules seem unreasonable, ESFJ kids may feel let down by the grown-ups who made them.

Creative Kids
ENFP: Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving

enfp-kidThe natural curiosity of ENFP children leads them into endless adventures. They are full of questions. Fueled by their creativity, the spend hours exploring new ways to spend their time—making sand castles, rearranging indoor furniture for their adventures, making up plays, and so on.

The charm and energy of ENFP kids attracts friends. Because they’re so persuasive, they’re often chosen as leaders by their peers. They like to experiment, even if it involves taking risks. If someone warns them that poison ivy is dangerous, they’re likely to test the person’s advice. Parents of ENFP offspring often worry about what they’ll get into next.

Sociable Kids
ENFJ: Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging

enfj-kidENFJ children are cooperative and lively. Once they learn to talk, they never seem to stop. These congenial extraverts need lots of social interaction. Conflict and arguments upset them.

Bright, and sunny, ENFJ kids are always on the go. At school, they sign up for many activities, not just for the experience, but also for a chance to socialize. They bring warmth and vision to whatever they take part in. They’re at their best in situations that call for sensitivity and tact. ENFJs are liberal with praise for others and are well liked. Parents find them a joy to be around.

Risk-Taking Kids
ENTP: Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Perceiving

entp-kidENTPs are lively children who question routine ways of doing things. They rarely accept rules without question. If a requirement seems unreasonable, they try to get around it. Then they justify their behavior with logical explanations.

Because these children love challenges, they often engage in risky behaviors. Frequently, they try to outwit authority figures such as parents and teachers. Due to their appealing personal style, it’s easy for them to persuade other children to join them in projects and adventures. Organizers at heart, they even assign roles to them. Parents of ENTP kids do well to have logic on their side when challenged by their offspring.

Goal-Driven Kids
ENTJ: Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging

entj-kidENTJ children are driven by goals from the time they’re very young. They can be scholarly, athletic, and creative—all at the same time. They’re like to get straight As in school—as much to satisfy themselves as to please their parents. It’s important for them to win games and come in first in competitions. They like to win.

Kids of the ENTJ type tend to take charge of themselves and others in group activities. They’re born leaders. Power and control are important to them because they want to have an impact on what goes on. When authority figures become too dogmatic, ENTJs rebel. If a situation is acceptable to them, they’ll go along. For parents who’d prefer easy-going, compliant offspring, these children can be a challenge.

 

Part 1 of  this two-part series described introverted children.

INFJ Meets INTJ

INFJs (introverted, intuitive, feeling and judging) and INTJs (introverted, intuitive, thinking and judging) are suited to each other in many ways. Both are independent and guided by their intuition. However, INFJs are more tactful about insisting on their autonomy. INTJs can be confrontational. Sometimes they’re so confident that they seem argumentative. INFJs aren’t comfortable with this. When an INTJ seems to be picking an argument, an INFJ friend can be surprised and hurt, even though this is rarely the INTJ’s intention.

At Work

Like INFJs, INTJs are organizers. As a result they often rise to leadership positions. Blessed with strong intuition, both types are good at seeing the big picture and solving problems.

They’re effective workers because they’re skilled at planning projects and carrying them out efficiently. They don’t walk away and leave the details to others. The main difference is that INFJs are more content to work in the background, while INTJs want to be sure they get credit for their efforts. INFJs cooperate with others more easily and avoid conflicts.

In Love

When an INFJ and INTJ fall in love, they want to include each other in every aspect of their lives. Both express their affection more by what they do than by what they say. They’re cautious about discussing their deep feelings for fear of rejection. INTJs are likely to purchase expensive gifts for their partners. The INTJ man in love with a woman who enjoys jewelry may buy her an expensive ring. The INTJ woman involved with a man who’s into winter sports may buy him cross-country skis.

If a relationship between an INFJ and INTJ starts to fall apart, the INTJ is likely to withdraw and remain silent about his or her feelings, even with the partner. INFJs are affected more deeply and deal with the crisis by looking for their own mistakes and shortcomings. Unlike the INTJ, they may need friends to help them overcome their grief before they can regroup their energies and move on.

Because of their need to be loved, INFJs are more likely than INTJs to get involved with partners who aren’t right for them. Even when they suspect this, they often continue the relationship because the intimacy and commitment are so important to them.

INTJs are more particular. Even before they find a partner, they know what they want and how they want a relationship to function. They don’t continue a relationship that doesn’t meet their needs. An INTJ who does a lot of camping and hiking looks for a partner with outdoor interests. No matter how attractive a bookish INFJ type may appear, the INTJ won’t feel drawn to them. An INTJ who makes a living as a concert violinist won’t be interested in an INFJ who dislikes classical music, no matter how appealing the person is otherwise.

At Home

Both INFJs and INTJs are inconsistent about how tidy they keep their homes. Sometimes their homes are neat and organized. Sometimes they’re not. Keeping the environment in order is probably more important to the INTJ than to the INFJ.

When the partners and children of INFJs complain that their house is a mess, they will try to tidy the place up to keep everyone happy. Their work areas may be cluttered, but, as with INTJs, their minds are extremely organized. INTJs may let some parts of the house be in disarray, but they usually keep their personal quarters organized. To both the INFJ and INTJ, their inner lives are the most important. Both types need solitude, but the INTJ is more demanding about this than the INFJ.

INTJs develop idealistic models of how people should lead their lives, applying them to family members as well as themselves. An INTJ father may decide what college would be best for his son and what his major should be, failing to consider the boy’s preferences and personality. If the father was a business major in college, he may discourage an athletic son who wants to study physical education. A mother who is a biologist may not understand a daughter who wants to be a musician. Music doesn’t fit her model of what a child should pursue in college.

As parents, INFJs are more broadminded than INTJs. They’re more tolerant of the types of playmates their children choose, what kind of extracurricular activities they’re involved in, and what they choose to study in college. To them, the important thing is how much effort their children put in and whether they’re developing into happy, productive human beings.

Leisure

INFJs and INTJs like purposeful leisure activities, but INTJs are more serious about it. When vacation time comes, the families or companions of INTJs shouldn’t look forward to unplanned, carefree days. Outings must have a goal and be scheduled. INTJs don’t feel comfortable lolling on the beach. They must be scuba diving, taking pictures, or collecting shells. INFJs are also more comfortable if their leisure activities have purpose, but they’re not as goal-directed. Planned activities are mostly an excuse to have fun.

The dedication of INTJs to specific sports or seasonal pursuits can be daunting to INFJs. Perhaps an INTJ plays tennis three times a week in the summer, then goes cross-country skiing three times a week in the winter. Most INTJs like to keep their bodies in shape. In contrast, INFJs give more importance to having fun with others. They like sharing hobbies and outdoor activities with close friends. In the company of others, they don’t necessarily talk a lot, but they enjoy easy, informal exchanges connected with what they’re doing.

INTJs and INFJs are able to enjoy each other if the INTJ is accepting of the INFJs’ enthusiasm and open display of feelings, and the INFJ is patient with the INTJ’s reserved, competitive tendencies.

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