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You know i love to talk about relationships. It’s this universal thing that cuts across political spectrums or professions- we all are interested in relationships. Romantic, friendship, family- it doesn’t matter. all of it.

and because of my personality type (INTJ – Meyers Briggs Type Indicator), I’m always trying to analyze what features make a relationship work. I like to categorize things.

Now, there is a theme I’ve been observing for years: most of my friends cluster on one side of the chart, and most of my emotional /romantic relationships are on the other side.

I want to see if this is true for other people. (Here’s the survey if you just want to skip ahead!)

My type is INTJ, along with approximately 2% of the general population. A majority of my long-term friends are also INTJ. This disparity between self-selected friendships and distribution across the general population is too great to be accidental.

Additionally, 88% of the people I spend time with socially- based on surveying the short list of people to whom I am close enough to have their contact info in my recent text messages- are INTJ, ISTJ, ENFP, or ENFJ. Obviously, 18 people is hardly a great sample size, but it is an accurate reflection of the people who do or have figured prominently in my life.

distribution of MBTI across friends and family
distribution of MBTI across friends and family

A quick explanation of Meyers Briggs: There are 16 personality types, each composed of a combination of 8 letters (that can be arranged in only 16 ways, as only 2 letters per position.)
I = Introverted E = Extroverted
N = iNtuitive S = Sensing
T = Thinking F = Feeling
J = Judging P = Perceiving

It’s an old test, and quite well-documented, and designed by Ms Isabel Briggs Myers and Ms Katherine Cook Briggs. (yeah!) Typically, people will test out basically the same, with the same percentages, even if they take the test multiple times, decades apart. I have.
You can take the test here.

The classic introvert / extrovert split is only partially about enjoying social activity. A bigger component is the need to process thoughts through talking (extrovert) or not (introvert.) Basically, extroverts understand their thoughts by talking about them, and introverts talk about their thoughts after they have already come to an understanding.

Just accepting this fact can make communication in a romance easier, as one can imagine! Understanding why someone is talking, or not talking, is important.

For example, not infrequently I’ll ask Daniel something like, “So, did I tell you out loud about what I’m going to do today?” To which, the answer, invariably is: “no, brookie, you kept that one in your head.”

The Request:
I’d like to collect data from you. What’s your Meyers Briggs type, what’s your best friend’s(s’) type? What’s your lover/partner/spouse’s type?

If you want to keep it anonymous, you can comment without publishing your id, or you can email me: brookdel@yahoo.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I laughed out loud at this article about MBTI Types and Relationships.
“INTJ: You’re single because: You over-analyze social interactions to the point where it seems easier to just avoid them altogether.

You’ll get into a relationship when: A hell-bent ENFP follows you around for a long enough period of time that you eventually just accept that you’re dating.”

That is, pretty much exactly what happened.

*Editor’s Note: I’ve added a survey since posting this piece. It’s 5 questions, and will help collect data. If you already commented or emailed me, I’ve added your data already to the survey to help populate it. I will be posting results soon.

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Personality Testing

Posted by:brook delorme

15 replies on “INTJ, ENFP, and a request for more data

  1. Wasn’t sure whether to comment publicly or privately. :) I’ve never taken a MBTI test and I don’t know my type, because I don’t give the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator much weight. It constantly pops up amongst friends, but I haven’t seen anything independent (meaning not from Myers-Briggs) to convince me of its validity. I hadn’t read the Wikipedia page before, but the Criticisms section parallels many of my thoughts, though in more detail and better cited than what I’d come up with right now: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers%E2%80%93Briggs_Type_Indicator#Criticism

    Whenever someone explains their MBTI or I see an article like the “Why You’re Single” article you linked to I feel like I can fit in almost every classification, sometimes anyway.

    1. Hey Karol- I definitely agree with the problems of trying to use types for job hiring decisions.
      Re: normal distribution- Most of the tests I’ve seen provide a scale so as it’s clear that one is not either/ or- for instance, I’m highly introverted as opposed to extroverted, but I’m lower on the Thinking as opposed to Feeling.

      So clearly, my interest in this is as to whether other people experience the same sort of friendship/romance clumping of types. And I should say, in all cases of close friends (of which I have few), I only came to know the other person’s MB type after we had been friends for a years. I found the clumping to two/three types remarkable.

      Basically, I experience something that goes like this: I’ll feel like I’m having an good time talking to someone. Communication is easy, and I feel a sense of mutual understanding. After some period of time of knowing them I’ll ask this question about MBTI, and most of the time I will find that they are INTJ or one of the others on my list. Similarly, sometimes I feel like I can barely communicate with or understand someone, and I’ll ask them, and find that they are some type I’ve never encountered before. (obviously, this happens less often.)

      Thanks for writing, always good to hear from you :)

  2. Briefly dated a girl (eNTP) last fall who was curious about my type and I got eNFP. I actually took the test a number of times, adjusting questions that I was on the fence about, but I came back eNFP every time. She insisted that I was more of an iNFP and I acknowledged that she may be right. I just took the test again and got iNFP this time. Am I an extroverted introvert or an introverted extrovert? Don’t know. I’m happy to recognize that I am both.

    Mother – iNFP
    Father – eSTJ

    1. Interesting, thank you! Most of the tests I’ve seen show a scale across the dimensions- i.e. percentages toward extroverted or introverted. You must be pretty close to even on that one ;) Your parents are perfect opposites- do you think that helped or hindered their relationship?

      1. Perfect opposites indeed. They complimented each other, which is what made the relationship work, but their differences were definitely a hindrance to a healthy relationship. I speak in the past tense because my father died. I want a relationship that is healthier than theirs was. Compromise, without compromising yourself, is easier when there’s a greater degree of mutual respect and appreciation on non-superficial levels.

      2. Also, my sister floats between iNFJ and eNFJ. So, we have a similar balance between introversion and extroversion.

  3. Hi. I’m an enfp, i’ve come to realize that those in my inner circle are mostly either enfp or infj. I’ve never been close to any intj or intp though, but yeah i want to. It’s said to be enfp’s natural partner. So haha that’s why i’m interested to look for one

  4. Funny to see this–I’m an INTP, as are both of the people I consider close friends. My partner is ENFP. Score one for statistics! OK, well, anecdotes, anyway.

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