This Is The Most Important Thing You Should Learn About Yourself, Based On Your Myers-Briggs Type

My mom is a leadership coach, and I (quite literally) grew up sitting in the back row of Myers-Briggs seminars at various companies and colleges. By 10 years old, I was well-versed in the language of personality typing and would (creepily) surmise my friends' types. Even if you weren't a weird kid like me, you've probably had some exposure to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator at some point in your life, and you might feel like you know all there is to know about who you are based on those four little letters. Everyone has that one most important thing they should learn about themselves, based on their Myers-Briggs type, though — and from what I learned about the personality indicator, everyone should take some time to figure out what theirs is.

While it's fun to learn about all of the things that we are according to our MBTI profile, I think that what might be especially instructive in a lot of cases is to pay extra attention to where we might fall a little short. By understanding this, we can learn to better use the strengths we do have and practice behaviors that will help us to better communicate and act around people who might not share our type.

ISTJ

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As an ISTJ, you're naturally critical and conservative (not necessarily politically, but behaviorally). The first thing to know about these characteristics? They're not inherently negative! What's super important for you to learn, though, is how to use those powers for good. Take time to reflect on how you can channel your tendencies toward critical thinking and wise decision-making. This might keep you from being hard to please and totally risk-averse.

ISFJ

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The more in touch you are with the way you make decisions, the more comfortable you can be trusting yourself to actually make decisions — and ISFJ, you should know that you rely on facts. If you find yourself confused about which way to turn in a difficult situation, ask good questions and see what kind of objective data you can discover. You'll find yourself less torn and more confident once you start approaching problems with an eye for facts (not alternative ones, naturally).

INFJ

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Naturally sensitive INFJs should keep in mind that they are likely to react to things differently — and by differently, I mean more quickly and intensely — than others. There's nothing wrong with some extra sensitivity (actually, the world could use a lot more of it!), but being aware that it's part of your personality will go a long way toward making you a better communicator with people who might not share this trait.

INTJ

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As a determined, decisive INTJ, you tend to expect that others around you will be competent and show improvement at the things you ask of them. There's nothing wrong with high expectations, but you might want to be mindful about the way you judge people, especially the people in your personal life. It's one thing to expect competence of a colleague, but not necessarily a friend. Is it fair to expect someone to be a competent friend? That might be something for you to think about!

ISTP

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You may not always feel like you're good at solving problems, but your Myers-Briggs type predisposes you to just that! Realize that you're probably a lot better equipped to troubleshoot challenging situations than you think you are, then trust yourself to successfully work through the tough life and work questions that come your way.

ISFP

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ISFPs tend to be modest, and while that can be a really nice quality, it may be keeping you from fully appreciating how awesome you are! I'm not suggesting that you put the kibosh on your humble ways entirely and start bragging obsessively — just that you owe it to yourself to own (quietly, at least) your strengths and accomplishments. Learning to temper your modesty might completely change the way you see yourself!

INFP

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You can't help but be empathetic and caring, INFP, but your caring tends to be of the quiet variety. As a result, it might be difficult for your loved ones to understand how you really feel about them. There's nothing wrong with that, but if the thought bums you out, you should know that you might need to put in a little extra emotional work and communication to make your feelings clear.

INTP

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Independence is one of your strengths, but it's important to know that it might come off as detached. The more aware you are of this, the harder you can work at showing people that you are engaged with them — when you want to, at least.

ESTP

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In terms of directness, the rest of us could probably take a page from your book, but that doesn't mean that total honesty is always the best way to communicate. As a person who can't help but be straightforward, it might be helpful for you to learn to take a beat and read the room before you deliver some cold, hard truth. While your directness is refreshing, it might not always be easy for others to process, so practice hedging it when necessary.

ESFP

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You love excitement, ESFP — and that's great! It's good to keep your tendency to seek adventure in mind, though, because it might help you figure out how to make better decisions that are maybe not always driven by chasing a thrill. There's a time and place for it!

ENFP

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ENFPs can be really future-focused, and while that kind of outlook can be really helpful when it comes time to make big decisions or plan for a big goal, it can also rob you of valuable moments in the present! Pat yourself on the back for all your great forward-looking tendencies, but don't be afraid to enjoy the here and now too.

ENTP

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If you're an ENTP, you probably love the novelty of change, which means you get bored easily. It's great to shake things up, but be sure you're not making life-altering choices based on sheer boredom.

ESTJ

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You're logical, fact-minded, results-oriented, analytical, and systematic. All of these qualities are sure to serve you well, but it's important to know that not everyone is wired the same way. You might find that you have better luck communicating with people if you're not always coming at them with numbers, numbers, numbers!

ESFJ

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One of your best strengths, ESFJ, is your ability to be a harmonizer. This is a very unique trait across the Myers-Briggs spectrum, so it's important that you know it belongs to you! Consider what complicated relationships or situations in your life might benefit from your special brand of bringing people together. Once you start putting these harmonizing skills to work, you might not be able to stop!

ENFJ

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ENFJs can be so tactful and cooperative that they hide their true feelings! If this is your type and you find yourself constantly working on pleasing people, it's time to figure out how to strike a balance between making others feel good and saying what's on your mind.

ENTJ

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Like ISTJ, you have a knack for being a little more critical than is always necessary. You probably get the results you're looking for most of the time, but there are some situations where it's best to suspend all judgment and just go with the flow.