The Best Way To Win An Argument, Based On Your Myers-Briggs Type
Sometimes, trying to convince another person to see things from your point of view is an exercise in frustration, especially if neither of you understand where the other is coming from. The best way to win an argument based on your Myers-Briggs personality type can not only help you get your point across, it can help you frame your argument in a way the other person will understand. This is because there is actually a science behind the way people behave. "The essence of the [MBTI] theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment," according to the Myers & Briggs Foundation.
If you're not familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, this tried and true personality test separates people into 16 different types based on whether they're introverted or extraverted, rely on their intuition or their senses, make decisions based on facts or feeling, and whether they interpret ideas through a lens of judgment or perception. If you're debating with someone who has a different personality type than you, you're not going to approach the discussion in the same way, and you'll also each perceive what the other person is saying very differently. If you want to increase your chances of being heard, this is the best way to win an argument based on your MBTI.
1. ISTJ: Present The Facts
If you're an ISTJ — introverted, sensing, thinking, and judging — then you are a tried and true person who relies on facts and order to gather information and make decisions. Because you are reliable, honest, and dependable, presenting facts that can't be disproven is your best bet for winning an argument. Additionally, because you do your research, and you're usually highly respected by everyone, your fact-based arguments can rarely be disputed, which gives you an edge when debating with almost every other personality type.
2. ISFJ: Facts & Memories Are Your Allies
For ISFJ personality types — introverted, sensing, feeling, and judging — your firm grasp of facts and excellent memory for even the smallest details can help you get your point across. If you're an ISFJ, then you rely on both facts and feelings to explain what you mean. Because you possess both of these skills, you can cite facts and relay specific memories to induce both critical thinking and strong emotions in whomever you're engaged in conversation with. These qualities appeal to most other personality types, and your commitment to the truth and loyalty to others will help them consider your point of view.
3. INFJ: Explore Motives
INFJs, introverted, intuition, feeling, and judging, are curious about the motivations of others, which can come in handy during an argument. While some personality types see things as black and white, or right or wrong, you have the keen ability to raise questions about people's motives, which can make whomever you're arguing consider a point of view they may not otherwise think about. Because you desire a purpose in life, understanding what's behind the actions of others helps you understand where they're coming from, which allows you to quickly diffuse the situation.
4. INTJ: Raise Doubt & Ask Questions
If you're an INTJ — introverted, intuition, thinking, and judging — you have a unique ability to come up with original ideas and you're able to identify trends that others can't even conceive of. While you won't always win an argument, because you are often ahead of the curve, you can raise doubt in your opponent and ask questions to get them to rethink their position. The argument may be a draw, but once what you've said comes to fruition — as it almost always does — other personality types will have no choice but to concede to your infinite wisdom.
5. ISTP: Rely On Data
ISTP personality types, whom are introverted, sensing, thinking, and perceiving, have minds like computers, and always have data to back up any claim. Because you dislike conflict, you're unlikely to get into an argument you can't win. But, data is hard to argue with. If you're going toe to toe with someone who is trying to dispute your claim, show them the data, then drop your mic and walk away. While they might not back down, you'll still be right, and that's all that really matters.
6. INFP: Present Possibilities
I'm an INFP — introverted, intuition, feeling, and perceiving — and while I'm not good at things like math and reading maps, I've never encountered an essay question or debate I couldn't conquer, even if I really don't know anything about the topic. This is because INFPs have the ability to make people question everything. We think with an eye toward the future, make connections where others can't, and are able to solve problems quickly. Sometimes for an INFP to win an argument, we have to show the other person that there's another way. Once other personality types understand possibilities in the future, and not just the present, they'll be more likely to see our point of view.
7. INTP: Stick To What You Know
Those with an INTP personality type — introverted, intuition, thinking, and perceiving — are interested in theories and ideas more than social interaction. If you're an INTP, you likely have very specific areas of interest, and you learn everything there is to know about topics you're passionate about. Because of this, an INTP shouldn't get into an argument about a topic they know little about. However, if someone is trying to dispute something that you're an expert on, there is no way you won't come out on top.
8. ISFP: Focus On Your Values
ISFPs — introverted, sensing, feeling, and perceiving — tend to have strong, unwavering core values. As an ISFP, drawing on your values during an argument can shut down other people's criticisms of you. Even if someone else disagrees with you, your strong commitment to you own set of beliefs often inspires respect and admiration in others. Explaining how your values factor into your decision making means that while others might not necessarily agree with you, they will usually understand where you're coming from.
9. ESTP: Focus On What's True In The Moment
If you're an ESTP — extraverted, sensing, thinking, and perceiving — then you're focused on the present. During an argument, an ESTP is interested in what's true right now, not what will be true five years from now, or even five minutes from now. One of my favorite lines from an old movie called The Paper, which is about people working at a newspaper in New York, is: we only have to be right for one day. This basically sums up how an ESTP can win an argument. Focus on the here and now, and if the other person won't see your point of view, continuing the discussion is really not worth your time. Sometimes knowing when to walk away is a win.
10. ESFP: Generate Excitement
For ESFP personality types, whom are extraverted, sensing, feeling, and perceiving, generating excitement about an argument can help bring others over to their side. Flexible and spontaneous, ESFPs are lovers of life, and their enthusiasm can be highly contagious. As an ESFP, even if you're wrong, getting your opponent excited about your point of view might make them rethink their position. People who are highly charismatic, like ESFPs, posses a unique ability to sway opinions based on the feelings they generate in others versus the facts they present.
11. ENFP: Confidence Is Key
If you're an ENFP — extraverted, intuition, feeling, and perceiving — your confidence and sass will go a long way in making someone who disagrees with you question whether or not they are right. For an ENFP, enthusiasm and imagination are two qualities that make this personality type likely to win an argument. You excel at verbal sparring, can quickly make connections between events and ideas, and are able to readily identify patterns. Your confidence and commitment to your point of view will garner a lot of support from others. Additionally, your constant stream of ideas and possible scenarios can quickly throw an opponent off of their game because most other personality types aren't able to keep up with your fast-paced mind.
12. ENTP: Identify Weaknesses
ENTPs — extraverted, intuition, thinking, and perceiving — posses unparalleled intuition, which allows them to identify weaknesses, underlying motives, and insecurities in others. During a heated exchange, an ENTP can quickly dismantle another person's position by blowing holes in their argument. Because of your keen ability to read others, you can make other people question their own motives, and feel insecure about their point of view. This means that others are likely to concede to an ENTP, even if they know the ENTP is wrong, just to get out of the uncomfortable position of going toe to toe with someone who can see directly into their soul.
13. ESTJ: Point Out The Plan
If you're an ESTJ — extraverted, sensing, thinking, and judging — your best bet at winning an argument is to focus on the outcome of your overall plan. ESTJs are realistic, decisive, and quick to make decisions, which can make others question their judgement and urge them to slow down so they can catch up. But, because you're hyper organized, you're able to dismantle other people's arguments by showing them your point-by-point plan, and explaining the desired outcome. When others disagree with you, sometimes it is because you just want to move forward without exploring other possibilities. This shoot first and ask questions later behavior can sometimes get you into trouble. However, many times you are indeed right, and other people just need time to catch up with you.
14. ESFJ: Turn The Tables
As an ESFJ — extraverted, sensing, feeling, and judging — you just want people to do what they're supposed to do, and you won't be forced into the position of being anyone's mom. You're accurate, dedicated, warm, and thoughtful until crossed, then it's game on. While ESFJs are willing to let a lot of things slide, that doesn't mean they've forgotten about them. During an argument an ESFJ can rattle their opponent by turning the tables and pointing out any hypocritical statements, or accusations brought on by the other person perceiving that the ESFJ should be doing more for them.
15. ENFJ: Preach About Potential
ENFJ personality types — extraverted, intuition, feeling, and judging — are masters at helping other people reach their potential. If you're an ENFJ, you are highly tuned into the emotional needs and motivations of others. You can often discern that someone might be starting an argument with you because they are feeling frustrated. This gives you a unique opportunity to disarm others by listening to what they are saying in order to understand their motives, and to offer help and advice. As an ENFJ, you can usually diffuse an argument quickly by acknowledging and validating the other person's feelings, and telling them how much you believe in them, which is usually what they're after anyways.
16. ENTJ: Cite Your Sources
If you're an ENTJ — extraverted, intuition, thinking, and judging — you have a keen ability to draw on sources that others aren't familiar with, which can help you win an argument fairly quickly. Well read, and a natural-born leader, your deep knowledge of various topics makes others reluctant to question your position. Additionally, your forceful and confident presentation of both ideas and facts can make an opponent doubt the validity of their own argument.
Obviously everyone has free will, and some people argue just for the sake of arguing. No one is going to win every argument every time, but understanding your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of others, can help you get into less arguments. However, if there is a misunderstanding, having awareness of the MBTI means things can be sorted out much more quickly.