INFPs vs ESTJs: Making Sense of the MBTI® types – Pt 5

by Dr. Daniel J. Heller June 13, 2014

In Part 1 of this 5-part series, we introduced the Myers–Briggs Personality Indicator and its first pair of characteristics, Introversion and Extroversion. Part 2 covered the second pair, Intuition and Sensation; Part 3 the third pair, Thinking and Feeling; and Part 4 the fourth pair, Perception and Judgement. Remember that everyone, to varying degrees, has both of the characteristics described in each of the pairs of attributes. Here in Part 5 we provide some shorthand tips for interpreting and applying this remarkable tool to everyday life.

You need not be able to make complete sense of this acronym jumble to receive some benefit from the insights of Carl Jung and Myers and Briggs. The most important point is to realize that some of your more intransigent characteristics may simply be part of you—they’re innate, almost like the color of your eyes or your unique fingerprint—and that rather than trying to change or alter them, it’s best to accept them. Then, should they cause trouble for you, you’ll know you can learn about the opposing characteristic, and try to cultivate those qualities in yourself. They are there already, you just need to find them and nurture them. This can help you to become more accepting of others as well as yourself, and this usually leads to better and more peaceful relationships.

Fundamentally, it’s a big help to understand and recognize introversion and extroversion in yourself and others. Simply knowing that extroverts get energy from being with people, that introverts need time alone to recharge their batteries, and that extroverts outnumber introverts in this world, can be quite valuable.

As important as the I/E pair is, you don’t even need it to recognize the main types of people in the world. Interestingly, just four combinations of the S/N, J/P, and T/F pairs determine all the main personality types. In extreme shorthand:

  • SP: practical, adventurous, spontaneous
  • SJ: practical, conservative, formal
  • NF: romantic, artistic, creative
  • NT: intellectual, inquiring, innovative

Remember, everyone has each of these eight tendencies to varying degrees. You can think of them as existing on a range from zero to one hundred, with more people falling into the middle 4060 range than the extreme 80 or 90 range for any given trait. MBTI is a useful guide to understanding yourself and others, but needs to be interpreted and applied flexibly, not rigidly. Now, which MBTI characteristic is that?

Learn More

Visit the website of the Myers–Briggs Foundation »

Of the many excellent books and articles that explore MBTI to varying degree, What Type Am I? Discover Who You Really Are does a great job of simplifying the Myers-Briggs tool, making it easy to understand and apply to your own life »

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The PMS Comfort Blog is our informal way of keeping you up to date on women’s health issues that we think are important; timely; underappreciated; useful; or just interesting. And, we’ll admit, sometimes we can’t resist poking some good-natured fun at the way the mainstream media portrays health, natural health, and women’s health issues. As always, we’d love to hear from you and are interested in knowing what you think and feel about these or other topics. Leave a comment for us, we’ll always respond. And, if there’s a women’s health topic that’s of interest to you, or that you find confusing, let us know! We want this blog to be helpful to you.


Dr. Daniel Heller is the primary author of this blog, the developer of our PMS Natural Relief Programs, and the founder of He is a holistic naturopathic doctor in Northern California with over 16 years experience helping thousands of women recover from PMS, PMDD, as well as helping women, children, and families find natural answers to all manner of health challenges.


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