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lntroverted Kids—Myers Briggs Types

According to the Myers Briggs system of classifying personalities, introverted children come in eight types. The only trait that runs as a constant thread through all types is Introversion (I). The others are Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N), Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F), and Perceiving (P) vs. Judging (J).

ISTJ—Introverted (I), Sensing (S), Thinking (T), Judging (J)

ISTJ children are reserved and responsible. They’re sincere and systematic in whatever they undertake. They function well in stable structures, where they know what’s expected of them.  They are happiest in a comfortable school setting and an orderly family. They are cautious in unfamiliar social settings where they meet new people. They’d rather spend time with friends, whom they’ve selected carefully. “Slow and steady” and “Work before play” are their mottoes

ISTP—Introverted (I), Sensing (S), Thinking (T), Perceiving (P)

ISTPs are flexible and action-oriented children. They are great observers and enjoy figuring out how things work.  Their curiosity drives them to gather details of particular subjects in which they’re involved, such as bugs, bicycles, dolls, etc. A girl who gets a drone as a gift may well develop a longstanding interest in airplanes and other devices that fly. They enjoy sharing detailed information about their hobbies, especially with other hobbyists. They take note of the differences between what people say and what they actually do.

ISFJ—Introverted (I), Sensing (S), Feeling (F), Judging (J)

ISFJ children are hardworking, loyal, conscientious, and service-oriented. Rarely are they a problem for their teachers and parents. ISFJs shy away from conflict and try to keep the peace at all costs. Because they like to please grownups, they’re often seen as perfect children. Routine and security are important to them. They want to know who will be at home when they arrive from school, whom they’ll play with, and so on. Frequently they are worriers. Because they are so introverted, it may not occur to them to share their problems with others. They have a few close friends, whom they may keep for years.

ISFP—Introverted (I), Sensing (S), Feeling (F), Perceiving (P)

ISFP children are quiet, pleasant and kind. They tend to have a number of friends because they are easy to like. They notice the feelings of others. When there is disharmony among their friends, and they try to restore peace. They notice what pleases others and often make gifts for people they like especially. They are very often aware of the sensations in their bodies and for this reason may enjoy pastimes such as dancing and ice-skating. They’re oriented toward deeply felt personal values and thus may find themselves outside certain popular social groups.

 

INFJ—Introverted (I), Intuitive (N), Feeling (F), Judging (J)

INFJ have two sides. On the one hand, they have a strong need for privacy, often spending long hours reading. Onthe other, they enjoy creative play with their friends—building snow forts, playing store, and so on. Solitude gives them a chance to think about the things most important to them. They have strong values, abhorring violence, and cruelty. They are quietly firm about their convictions, stepping to the fore only when no one else will. Gifted with words, they write well and when they do speak out, they’re eloquent. They have no fear.

INTP—Introverted (I), Intuitive (N), Thinking (T), Perceiving (P)

INTP children create fantasy worlds that they dream about. They’re immersed in their thoughts and books. Their parents sometimes worry whether they’re in touch with reality.F

This type of child often turns out to be adept at verbal communication, especially in writing. In new situations, they are reserved often to the point of being reluctant to give their names. They prefer relying on their own intuition and judgment rather than taking advice from others. Early on, they decide what’s important to them.

INTP—Introverted (I), Intuitive (N), Feeling (F), Perceiving (P)

INFPs often amuse themselves with their private thoughts and fantasies rather get involved in the company of others. After moving to a new neighborhood, many will stay indoors and read rather than go out and make friends. When they do venture out, their circle is small. It’s where they feel most comfortable. Once they relax, they can make creative, amusing companions. While they make a welcome addition to a group, their own perception is often that they are “the odd man out.”

INFPs depend on themselves for answers to important questions. If they make mistakes, they are reluctant to admit them. They have firm value systems, which they refuse to bend. If the others choose to, that’s fine. Because of their outward gentleness, they will not make a big deal out of it.

INTJ—Introverted (I), Intuitive (N), Thinking (T), Judging (J)

The independent nature of INTJs appears early in life. As children, they enjoy thinking about the way the world ought to be. They can be resistant to what authorities tell them when it contradicts what they believe. They like to establish their own rules and guidelines. The life of the mind is critical to their sense of who they are. They get involved in social activities only if they serve a particular purpose for them. The search for meaning and knowledge is what’s most important.

 

INTP—Introverted (I), Intuitive (N), Thinking (T), Perceiving (P)

As children, INTPs are inwardly focused, often enjoying their own company more than shared activities. They enjoy fantasies, mysteries and creative stories. Their style of entertaining themselves may be much different from that of most children. 

They think about life and the natural world in a questioning, exploratory way (“Why is the moon broken?” one boy asked his grandmother.) Often gentle and soft-spoken in appearance and manner, INTPs can be hard and aggressive when defending a truth. They are at their best developing complicated ideas.

 

 

Myers-Briggs Personality Types of Children—Part 1: Introverted Kids

If your baby comes home from the hospital quiet and easy-going, will the peace last? What about the toddler who enjoys nothing more than turning the pages of a book, while another is scaling every surface in sight? Will their personalities change over the years?

Parents who dreamed of their child becoming a celebrated athlete may be disappointed when he or she prefers staying inside taking a clock apart to playing outdoors with friends. Parents hoping for a Rhodes scholar may be let down when their child would rather climb trees than read books.

Many experts believe that Myers-Briggs personality tests are unreliable in children. Others claim that infants have their basic personalities in place from the time they take their first breath. Personality scores may shift over the years, but they rarely make an about face.

This is about introverted (I) children. There are eight types of introverts 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.

ISFJ: Introverted, Sensing, Feeling and Judging

isfj-stickAs children, ISFJs are generally well behaved. They’re little trouble to their parents and teachers. They want to know what’s expected of then, and they quietly follow through. Even when asked to make sacrifices, ISFJ kids take pride doing the right thing. In school, they stick with a few close friends and avoid conflict.

Because ISFJ children try to be certain about their duties, they tend to do only what they’re told. With their inward focus, they have a tendency to worry about things. For this reason, they may perform below their potential. They need encouragement to stretch themselves.

ISFP: Introverted, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving

isfp-stickISFP kids are quiet and kind. Because they avoid the spotlight, their many gifts may be overlooked. They are compassionate not only with other people, but also with animals—and indeed with all living things. They’re easy to like and attract other kids as friends. When arguments arise, they act as peacemakers.

ISFP children appreciate beauty, often making unique gifts for others that are colorful and beautiful. They enjoy the feeling of their bodies in motion—skating, dancing, and simply moving gracefully.

INFJ: Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging

infj-stickINFJs are complex, even as young children. While they can be outgoing at times and involved with other kids, they’re also quiet and creative, caught up in their private worlds. They’re gentle and dislike violence and cruelty, whether in games or in real life.

It’s not uncommon for INFJ children to make frequent trips to the library, bringing home many books at a time and spending hours in their rooms reading. The next day, they’re outdoors having adventures with friends. INFJ kids can be a challenge to parents who find their inconsistency hard to understand.

INFP: Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving

infp-stickINFP children are daydreamers, creating their own fantasy worlds. They are quiet, especially in new situations. Sometimes their parents worry whether they’re sufficiently grounded in reality. These kids enjoy getting lost in books. They learn to write at an early age.

Before INFPs even start school, they know what’s important to them. They sense where they’re headed and seldom ask for guidance. They’d rather do things for themselves than get help—to be sure they’re done right. They’re often careful not to reveal their mistakes to others. INFP children benefit from gentle handling and understanding.

INTJ: Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging

intj-stickThe independent natures of INTJ children are apparent early in life. They like to daydream and get caught up in ideas of how the world should be. They can be rebellious when told things that contradict what they believe. INTJs make their own rules and boundaries.

The life of the mind is important to INTJs, so they value their education. They‘re creative and innovative, finding their own efficient ways of doing and making things. These children can be a challenge to parents who would prefer easy-going, compliant children.

INTP: Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Perceiving

intp-stick1As children, INTPs often enjoy their own thoughts more than the company of other kids. They generally read a lot, going out to play only when invited. INTPs are full of questions, many times challenging parents and teachers with their observations. More than most children, INTPs enjoy inventing things and finding unusual pastimes not typical of kids their age.

INTP tastes are not dictated by popular trends. When these children disagree with conventional ideas, they’re quick to find fault in people’s logic, no matter how important the person. Some parents are baffled by the complexity of children who seem to have such a rich inner life.

ISTP: Introverted, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving

istp-stickISTP children have two sides—one that observes the world and one that takes action. The observer likes to sit quietly and watch what’s going on, absorbing all the details. These kids want to know what make things tick, taking them apart to see how they work. Children of this type who play outdoors a lot are frequently experts on bugs, snakes, and other wildlife.

Usually, ISTPs are good with their hands and can fix things. They aren’t afraid to take risks with such sports as rock-climbing and backpacking. Parents who enjoy quiet children will find much to treasure in the ISTP.

ISTJ: Introverted, Sensing, Thinking and Judging

istj-stickAs children, ISTJs are well behaved and quiet. They function best in an environment that’s ordered and structured. With their well-developed sense of responsibility, ISTJs do best when given schedules to follow. They want to get their work done before they play. Around new people, they’re cautious and often uneasy until they get to know them. When ISTJs know what to expect, they’re more relaxed.

People of this personality type take a conventional view of life. While they enjoy solitary pastimes at home, they also appreciate traditional group activities such as scouting. Parents of these conscientious children can help them develop a more playful side of their personalities.

 

Part 2 of this series describes the eight types of extraverted children. 

 

Famous People and Their Myers-Briggs Personality Types—Part 1: The Extraverts

In recent years, Myers-Briggs experts have analyzed many famous people to make educated guesses of their personality types. While most celebrities, past and present, have never taken a personality test, psychologists who are knowledgeable about typology believe they know what the outcomes would be.

Most politicians, entertainers, and leaders of large organizations are extraverts. Introverts are usually deep thinkers, complex individuals who can be charming in public but are private in their personal lives. Introverts aren’t easily categorized or put in boxes. Part 1 of this two-part series describes some extraverts, living and dead. Part 2 about introverts will follow.

Famous Extraverts of the Present

ENTJ: Bill Gates
Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging

04-billgatesAn ENTJ personality type called the “Leader,” Bill Gates has always been decisive and strategic, willing to challenge old ideas and attract other people to his causes. ENTJs can be demanding, but they’re also objective and fair. Bill Gates built an empire based on his leadership skills and ability to innovate.

ENFJ: Oprah Winfrey
Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging

05-oprahwinfrey_2005With her outgoing, enthusiastic personality, ENFJ Oprah understands people. True to type, she’s articulate and tactful. ENFJs have the interpersonal skills to make others want to join them to make things happen. The ENFJ is idealistic, compassionate, and shows integrity in everything he or she does.

ESTJ: Margaret Thatcher
Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking and Judging

07-thatcherAs the “Supervisor” ESTJ type, Margaret Thatcher was the first female prime minister of England—a decisive, organized woman. Like most ESTJs, Thatcher was direct, objective and often impersonal. She based her plans of action on logic and past experience, monitoring progress every step of the way.

ESFJ: Barbara Walters
Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling and Judging

08-waltersA congenial, tactful ESFJ, Barbara Walters is an American media star. Compassion and thoroughness are her hallmarks. Called the “Caretaker,” this personality type places a high value on harmony. The cooperative nature of ESFJs make them naturals for drawing out other people while respecting their sensitivities and needs.

ESFP: Steven Spielberg
Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving

16-spielbergSteven Spielberg, famous Hollywood director, is an ESFP, a personality type called the “Performer.” Spielberg has been honored in many countries for his ground-breaking films. He is outgoing, flexible and observant. With his lighthearted approach to life, like most ESFPs he is generous with his time and money.

ENTP: Barack Obama
Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Perceiving

01-obamaAs a Myers-Briggs ENTP, Barack Obama is outspoken, creative, and analytical. Congenial ENTPs have a sixth sense for the needs of others and go out of their way to help them. The interpersonal skills of this personality type attract others. They’re able to unite people to work for their causes.

Famous Extraverts of the Past

ENFP: Walt Disney
Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving

02-disneyTrue to his Myers-Briggs personality type, ENFP, Walt Disney was creative and independent—a pioneer of animated films. Like most ENFPs, he was congenial, insightful, and versatile. His ability to identify with others was almost uncanny, as made evident from his wide range of film characters.

ESTP: John F. Kennedy
Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving

10-jfkAs an ESTP personality type called the “Promoter,” John F. Kennedy was persuasive, energetic, and easy-going. This Myers-Briggs type is practical and action-oriented, always ready to join in whatever is happening. True to type, Kennedy was direct in his politics, mincing no words while being tactful with those around him.

 

 

 

Myers-Briggs Personalities—When Opposites Attract

Is the old saying right—that opposites attract? Is this good or bad?

Anne and Fred

Anne has always been emotional. Strong, silent men make her feel safe and protected. So that’s the kind of man she ended up with. She married Fred, a successful contractor. The problem is, after they’d been together for a while, Fred’s macho qualities lost some of their appeal. Anne didn’t know how he felt about things. The emotional climate of the relationship grew chilly. Whereas Fred once listened to Anne’s problems attentively, he now criticizes her for being too “clingy.” Who’s got the problem, Anne or Fred?

Anne’s attraction to strong, silent men is partly due to her insecurities. She never learned how to stand up for herself—to view herself as a strong, independent adult. Fred, on the other hand, was discouraged from showing his feelings as a child, or even from having them. He was brought up to be a take-charge male. Anne looked for someone who supplied the parts that were missing in her. Fred did the same.

 Matt and Laura

Matt is an easy-going guy, liked by many people. However, he’s usually late to social engagements. When decisions are needed, he’s apt to put them off. Then he meets Laura. She’s smart, productive and on top of things. He admires this. The two begin dating. Laura has gotten into the habit of picking Matt up because her car runs like a top and his doesn’t. If their date is for 7 pm, she’s there by 6:59. When she arrives, Matt hasn’t shaved and can’t find a clean shirt. Soon Laura gets critical of his chronic tardiness. She feels taken for granted. One day she says, “Why don’t you get your car fixed? Why do I have to pick you up all the time?” Who’s got the problem?

Matt grew up a happy-go-lucky kid. His parents were lax in their discipline and cleaned up his messes. He seldom got his homework turned in on time. As an adult he expected others to continue taking up the slack for him. Laura was the middle child in a dysfunctional home. Often, she was the one in the family who prepared lunches for her sisters and her to take to school. She made sure they met the school bus on time. She learned to take care of not only herself but other people, too.

Heredity and Environment

These four people adopted ways to get along in the world that were consistent with their upbringing as well as their genetic tendencies. Anne—never an assertive child—needed a man who would replace her parents. Fred needed to feel strong and manly. Matt depended on others to make up for his irresponsibility. Laura had the habit of bailing Matt and other people out as a reaction to her over-responsible childhood

The problems of many couples are due to their personality traits, not whether one is right and the other wrong. The partners simply look at the world and respond to events differently.

Myers-Briggs Personality Traits

When couples take the Myers-Briggs inventory, they’re often amazed at their differences. In the case of Anne and Fred, Anne’s scores are heavily weighted on the feeling side, while Fred’s are weighted on the thinking side. Thinking types are rational and have cool heads. They base their decisions on logic, not feelings. Feeling types are soft-hearted and easily moved. Fred thinks that Anne is a cry-baby. Anne wonders whether Fred has any feelings.

On the Perceiving/Judging scale, Matt has mostly perceiving points. Laura scores high on the judging scale. Perceiving types tend to do things at the last minute. They like to keep their options open. Judging types prefer closure. They’re conscientious about their commitments. Matt thinks that Laura is too controlling. Laura thinks that Matt is irresponsible.

Instead of trying to understand their basic personality differences, couples tend to get into the blame game. This only escalates their conflicts. Rarely does either party change. Myers-Briggs personality typing gives partners a fresh look at themselves and each other. It helps them appreciate their unique strengths and their differences. When they have a better understanding of how each functions in the world, they can put their relationship on a higher plane—with no name-calling or blaming.