Writing Tips

A Call For Help on Personality Types

Last month, I posted about how to write a female INTJ, and the post was reasonably popular. Last week, someone who read the post asked me to give tips for writing some of the other Myers Briggs Personality types.

I am grossly unqualified.

I am an INTJ, and I haven’t studied most of the 16 personality types enough to write posts about them (beyond INTJs and INFJs). However, I don’t want to write about INFJs because I don’t think that I could so in an unbiased manner. As I was thinking, I figured that I could write about the personality types of the other four main characters in my fantasy series: INFP (Zeroah), ESTP (Raewas), ESFP (Baehur), and ISTJ (Mar Zaehav). You can check out these characters, along with Arkeh, the INTJ, over here. I have done a good amount of research on these types for my writing, and I have written characters with these types so I have a very little bit of personal experience. But I am going to do my best to posts tips for writing these four personality types.

However, I would really appreciate your help. If you are an INFP, ESTP, ESFP, or ISTJ, I would love to hear from you. Especially if you cover what matters most to you, what types of things hurt you the worst emotionally, how you view the world, what is a weakness of struggle of your personality type, what you enjoy and think about most of the time, and how you view the past, present, and future. But really, any tips from you would be helpful. Also if you have known any INFPs, ESTPs, ESFPs, or ISTJs, I would love to hear your observations. If you have the time, please comment on this post or e-mail me through the Contact Me page.

A Call for Help

Starting next Monday, I plan on posting about these personality types for the next month or so. However, I will only be covering those four personality types and not all of them. So for those of you who are looking for tips for writing other personality types, I suggest googling the “MBTI blog challenge”. One of my friends, Hannah Heath, started this challenge on her blog, and it could be helpful (though there might be a few of uneducated bloggers glorifying their own personality type– we all have this tendency). You can see Hannah great post about INFJs here.

So do you use MBTI when writing your fictional characters? Do you know your type? Or can you help me write about INFPs, ESTPs, ESFPs, or ISTJs?

I hope you have a wonderful week! God bless,

Gabrielle

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42 thoughts on “A Call For Help on Personality Types”

  1. I’ll definitely shoot you an email when I have the time. My two MCs are ISTJ and ESFP, and I have two ESTPs in my family so I know a lot on the subject. 🙂
    As far as INFP… Can’t help, though. 😦

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  2. I’d love to help out with ISTJ. For the longest time I was typed as INTJ, but after actually looking into the functions myself I’ve realized that while I ACT like an INTJ, the way that my thinking process works I’m ISTJ.

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  3. Alright, confession time. MBTI has been my learning passion for about a year. While I’m still no expert, I can share some things from personal experience that may help. I’ll send an email over to you with what I have, since it might be a bit lengthy for the comments. I’ll try and answer the questions above, and any more if you have some specifically about INFPs. 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much! I got your e-mail last night, and it is really helpful and detailed which is very nice. Hopefully, I will be able to respond by tomorrow, but I also need to write Monday’s post today.

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    1. Oh, I did not mean to ask for anyone to write the post for me. I was just looking for personal testimonies about the types in addition to the research that I am doing about the types. I will be writing the post, but I will be citing all my “sources” 😉
      Thanks for offering to help! If I have any other questions, I will ask.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great idea! I have an ESTP and a (possibly) ISTJ character, so I think I will profit from your posts.
    I’m INFJ, but I can give you a couple points about INFPs, as one of my best friends is one.
    One thing is that they are very nonjudgmental; they don’t judge you for who you are or mistakes you make (although there are obviously exceptions.) Another thing I’ve noticed is that when you have a problem, they’re more likely to help you feel better or sympathize with you than to help you find a solution to your problem. They also apologize a !ot, but not all; I think it may depend more on how much the person has developed their functions or what their character is.
    I hope that helps!

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  5. While I am by no means an expert on the subject, I have found a really helpful site that sort of breaks each personality type down into manageable bite size pieces. Maybe it will help? The site is 16personalities.com. You can make a profile and take the test, or you can learn about other personality types. Hope this helps.

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  6. Gabrielle, I’m curious– I’ve noticed you put a lot of stock in the Myers-Briggs test to define the personality of your characters, and even yourself. Don’t you think it’s restricting to confine your personality, character, and tendencies to a simple acronym? To me, it seems like one could easily dismiss behavior on the fact that I’m an ISTJ or ESTP or whatever. I understand the accuracy of the tests and how well they pinpoint characteristics, but to me they seem more like confines than assists.
    I’m interested in hearing your thoughts and more than willing to discover I may not have a good understanding of this.

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    1. Thanks for asking this, Bryce. I do think that the system is very limited and relies on stereotypes, in a sense. For instance, the careers suggestions for an INTJ primarily are for law, math, or science careers, but I am planning on being an English major. You are also right that it can be used as an excuse for bad behavior. After I first found out my type, I was using it as an excuse for rude an arrogant behavior.
      However, I think it can be useful, when it is viewed as a tool and label– not as someone’s entire personality. Once I do my primary character development, I try to type the character. Then I figure out my character’s exceptions to the personality type. By using it in addition to my normal character development, I have actually been able to develop and understand my characters better (in my opinion)– especially those who are very different from me.
      Just yesterday, I realized that I have never explained, on my blog, why or how I use the Myer Briggs personalities when I do character development, so I wrote a post for tomorrow morning talking more in depth about that.
      Thanks for asking the question, and you definitely have some very valid points. I would love to hear your thoughts now (or after you read tomorrow’s post– it is a bit too long for me to put in a comment).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually know INFJs pretty well– my mother and several of my friends are INFJs. However, I decided not to write posts about them because I think that I would end up putting too much of my personal opinion in the post 😉 Maybe you could make a post about INFJs for your blog!

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  7. Okay, so I am an “INFP”, and I think it describes me pretty well. We are often times considered very shy and reserved, “antisocial” and while I am those things, I do volunteer and have a job at a library and interact with a variety of people on a daily basis, and enjoy it most of the time. I just need a “break” from people after I get home. When I do meet the right kind of people and feel comfortable, I don’t shut up and can be very outgoing.

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  8. Okay, that was dumb. Accidentally pressed enter before I was done. 😛

    I think that is what most people get wrong about “shy” people. I am nervous around what is unfamiliar to me, but when I am in an environment or around people that I feel safe in/with I do fine.

    I kind of rambled off there, here’s some answers to your questions:

    1. I tend to make up situations that would never, ever happen in my head. I always assume the worst, and I think that stresses me out and wears on my emotions the most.

    2. This one is hard, some days, I want to go out and see it, other days I just want to shut it out.

    3. I am a perfectionist. It is very annoying, but I am also somehow a procrastinator, those two sides don’t really get along…

    4. Well, I love reading, writing, art, and think about those almost everyday. (More like how I should be writing, but whatever.) Right now I am just starting my journey in falconry, so that takes up most of my mind right now. Um, I obsess over things.

    5. I dwell on the past, forget the present, and worry/plan about the future. Not to say that every INFP does, but I tend to. Only when I can somehow completely find peace can I just settle on the present. Normally that is when I’m out hunting/hiking/camping in the woods or desert with the family.

    Okay, so that’s quite a bit. Hope that helps.

    ~Em Lahey

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  9. Hello! I’m an ISTJ, so I can maybe help you with that.

    Dominant Si/Inferior Ne: The stereotype that we LOVE traditions is sometimes true…I’ve trained my mind to not value them so much. I used to become irritated if the repitition of an event did not go exactly as planned. Here are two of the ways i think Si and Ne manifest themselves most: the fittingness and the memory cage. A fittingness is an extremely intense memory of an event. It has a bunch of triggers. The trigger can be a song, a book, a taste, a smell, or even a location. When i encounter a trigger, it’s like I’m re-living the event. One lesson I’ve learned: history may repeat itself, but fittingnesses don’t, so I shouln’t go to a place expecting the same fittingness to apply now that applied then. Does this make sense? An ESTJ to whom i attempted to explain the fittingness replied with, “Yeah, all life has its connections.” I think it’s more complicated then that. There’s a distinction between “oh yes, that scent reminds me of X” and the powerful WOOSH through time, space, and memory that a fittingness trigger brings. Oh well, i tried. The memory cages are like fittingnesses, but not exactly. I picture Si as memories, points throughout the space of the mind and Ne as the lines that connect the memories. I encounter a cage trigger and BAM I’m in the cage. It usually takes some form of depression.To beat a memory cage (I’ve done this!) one must form new connections so that the old ones are weakened and eventually severed.
    (Note that other types may do this too. If they do, I haven’t met anyone in that category.)

    Auxiliary Te/Tertiary Fi: WE DO HAVE FEELINGS I SWEAR!!!! Of course, we don’t “visibly emote all the time.” Often the feelings are conclusions instead of reflexes. For instance, I might be thinking over an incident several days later and think, “Maybe i should be offended…my own parent called me dull…whatever.” We don’t always care about the opinions of others (unless they are true). This is demonstrated by upper-Te bluntness and, like you said, not bothering with makeup. However, I will be angry if someone insults my honesty or work eithic…and that’s about it. ISTJs don’t cry for just anything (I’ve never cried over a movie or book). I enjoy logic and really hate when people use circular reasoning. I don’t always need to talk through my thoughts, but i find writing helps me keep things straight (otherwise Ne takes over and I get distracted). And the stereotype that upper-Te-users’ living quarters are always clean is false. The mess indicates the stress. One last thing: often, the most efficient way is not the most stereotypical Te way. I usually find it more efficient to not argue my way through a situation. I do enjoy debate to a certain extent, but only if a) I have time and b) the subject is interesting and important.

    Anyway, that’s it! Hope this helps!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh yes! A few more things. First, we easily succumb to pedantry. As a Christian ISTJ, I find it hard not to fall into perfectionism or “Jesus plus works” righteousness. It is a struggle.

    Second, we’re not immune to lying. However, I find that it has lessened considerably as i have grown in faith. When i’m in a lie, i find it hard to concentrate on anyhting else. It’s my Gollum, basically.

    Third, we do like to analyze things sometimes. The contrary stereotype just needs to be debunked.

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  11. Hey! Grea article. I would be glad to give you some info on on INFP’s (my personality type) if its still needed (i am three months late). If so, you can ex pect an email from me soon.

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  12. Great post! My main character is an ESTP and this was spot on. Also, I have Pinterest boards for INFP and a few other types, plus some general Myers-Briggs insights. I just followed you on Pinterest so you can feel free to look at my accumulated research. And as an INFP I’d be happy to give feedback as needed (if not too much time commitment, since I’m also a full-time college student 🙂 ).

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    1. I’m glad it was helpful! I just posted the INFP post, so if you would find anything amiss, I would be happy to change it. Thank for your offer; I know how busy full time school can be.
      What is your Pinterest name? I had a couple new followers yesterday, and I could not figure out which one was you.

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  13. The INFP post was really good! One thing I would say is that there are INFPs (like me) who actually embrace logic. My dad is an INTP (passionately logical), so as a kid I thought of myself as logical before I thought of myself as creative. Now I realize that my “logic” is strongly based on intuition/gut feeling, but it still compensates for my flights of fancy in my decision-making process.

    Also, my Pinterest name is Kristina A____ (blank added for privacy reasons ;)) And I think it’s so cool you reference the MBTI fiction site; it’s been a huge help to me in understanding the cognitive functions and what they look like in characters.

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    1. Thanks for being so patient and waiting for me to reply. I think it is pretty common for people to mistake intuition for logic (and intuition for introversion, too.)
      Awesome! I just found you. I really enjoy MBTI Fiction, too. I think Arvid runs a great site.

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  14. I’m an ISTJ if you want I’d love to give you advice on how to write from an ISTJ’s perspective 🙂

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  15. I am an INFP, and I think I can help with the INFP :).
    INFP characters:
    1.INFPs are very dreamy and poetic and impractical with their thinking.
    2. They dislike having too many rules and regulations; they’re independent and they dislike routine: freedom and flexibility is important to them.
    3. They can be people who are often late to appts and social events (if they even go to social events at all), but not all INFPs are that way. Some are very careful to get to places on time.
    4. When they have a crush/are in love, they tend to be very devoted to the person who is the object of their admiration and affection, and they (at least in my case *blush*) are very protective of their special friend and will not hesitate to stand up for them if the INFP feels it is necessary.
    5. Though that is how they will be (often) when their affections are engaged, it is actually very hard for them to give their hearts to anyone because they are terribly worried about being hurt emotionally.
    6. They are very emotional people. They are definitely the ones who will cry over the death of fictional characters, in a book or on the screen. And they tend to be drawn to sad things.
    7. They are drawn to fantasy worlds more than any other MBTI type. This is very true with me. 🙂
    8. They are the ultimate example of a procrastinator. It is hard for them to finish what they have started because they are distracted so easily. “Oh, look, its a butterfly…”
    9. They are usually people who are drawn to nature, gardens, and animals. They often take walks, and they like rain because “Its just so romantic… and sad.”.
    10. In battle, the INFPs will be warriors defending the people and country they love. But not only that, they will be some of the ones caring for the hurt (if the sight of blood does not cause them to faint).
    11. They have a dark side. But usually, they show their dark side only when they are extremely upset with themselves for hurting or letting down others.

    Hope that all helps!
    God bless!
    ~Strider

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