Do you know your personality type and who you’re most compatible with? The Myers-Briggs test aims to help you find out.
It’s natural to wonder if some types of personalities are more compatible with yours, or if other factors have more relevance when trying to find a match. This is a question that experts may not have an exact answer to just yet.
Your personality is a distinctive combination of thoughts, emotions, and experiences that make you who you are. It’s unique and complex and may not fit into a rigid mold of traits. It can also change and adapt to circumstances.
For decades, experts have tried to classify the possible different types of personalities in an attempt to better understand why everyone is so different and yet so similar in some aspects.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the tools developed to identify personality types. It isn’t evidence-based, and its validity is often questioned.
The questionnaire asks you to indicate your preferences in different areas of life. It’s designed to measure:
- how you relate to the world around you
- where you draw your energy from
- what your innate behaviors are
Based on these answers, the Myers-Briggs test assigns 1 of 16 categories. Each of these is identified by a four-letter system indicating your dominant traits based on these scales:
- extroversion versus introversion
- sensing versus intuiting
- thinking versus feeling
- judging versus perceiving
Since categories are based on your own report about your interests, preferences, and tendencies, the MBTI could help you determine what other personality types have similar interests or preferences and may be compatible with you.
But, much like personality, romantic compatibility isn’t an exact science.
In fact, some people believe that opposites attract when it comes to personality traits, but 2019 research actually suggests otherwise.
Romantic compatibility may depend on a lot of factors and circumstances, and this is just one of many ways to look at it.
The Myers-Briggs personality test isn’t validated by research, and many experts suggest it as a fun personal exercise rather than an exact scientific method to determine personality type or compatibility.
Based on the answers to your self-report, the Myers-Briggs test indicates where you stand on four personality scales.
Extroversion vs. introversion (E/I)
This personality scale is about where a person draws their energy from.
Extroverts get recharged and energized from being around other people. They’re typically outgoing and action-oriented, and they can feel mentally and emotionally drained if they spend too much time on their own.
Introverts draw their energy from alone time and tend to prefer meaningful social interactions with fewer people instead of large groups. They can get fatigued and stressed if they don’t get enough time by themselves.
Sensing vs. intuiting (S/N)
This category involves the way you gather relevant information in your life.
If you lean toward sensing, you pay more attention to the tangible information you receive from your five senses. You are more likely focused on facts and concrete data that you can measure.
If, on the other hand, you rely on intuition, you’re more focused on:
- abstract concepts
- gut feelings
- contemplating all possibilities
- exploring underlying principles
Thinking vs. feeling (T/F)
This category refers to how you make decisions based on the information you gathered.
If you’re closer to the thinking side of the scale, you may prefer to make rational, logic-driven decisions that you feel are objective.
If, instead, you lean toward the feeling side of the scale, you may make decisions based on emotional and human aspects at the moment of deciding.
Judging vs. perceiving (J/P)
This scale is about how you operate on a daily basis.
If you lean toward the judging side, you may prefer structure, order, and planning in everything you do.
If you’re more of a perceiving person, you may be more flexible, adaptable, and spontaneous in your actions.
The 16 personalities
When you take the Myers-Briggs test, you’ll end up with a four-letter tag assigned to your personality. This result depends on where you fall on each of the above-mentioned personality scales. So, each letter comes from one of the scales indicating the side you lean toward.
- I: Introvert
- E: Extrovert
- N: Intuiting
- S: Sensing
- T: Thinking
- F: Feeling
- J: Judging
- P: Perceiving
The 16 Myers-Briggs personality types are:
- ISTJ — The Inspector
- ISTP — The Crafter
- ISFJ — The Protector
- ISFP — The Artist
- INFP — The Mediator
- INFJ — The Advocate
- INTP — The Thinker
- INTJ — The Architect
- ESTJ — The Director
- ESTP — The Persuader
- ESFP — The Performer
- ESFJ — The Caregiver
- ENFP — The Champion
- ENFJ — The Giver
- ENTP — The Debater
- ENTJ — The Commander
Some experts have tried to identify compatible personality types based on the Myers-Briggs test. However, no exhaustive research has been conducted to validate the scales or establish a degree of compatibility. This is one of the reasons why the MBTI is typically seen as a way to entertain yourself rather than get accurate answers about your personality type.
In their book “Just Your Type: Create the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted Using the Secrets of Personality Type,” Barbara Barron and Paul D. Tieger say they’ve found that many personality types are more satisfied when they’re paired with similar partners.
In particular, these pairings had romantic satisfaction rates over 70%:
- SJ: sensing and judging
- NF: intuiting and feeling
Barron and Tieger also found that compatibility increases when two partners are both feelers, even if they’re different in other aspects. This may be because feelers tend to spend a lot of energy on their relationships and often value open communication.
Specifically, based on Barron and Tieger’s research, these categories would be the most compatible:
- ISTJ, ESTJ, ISFJ, and ESFJ
- INFP, ENFP, INFJ, and ENFJ
Other research also shows that, based on similar interests and patterns of behaviors, these are some of the most highly compatible matches:
- ENFJ and INFP
- ENTJ and INFP
- INFJ and ENFP
- INTJ and ENFP
- ENTP and INFJ
- ISFP and ENFJ
- ENTP and INTJ
- INTP and ENTJ
- ESTJ and ISFP
- ESFJ and ISFP
- ISTJ and ESFP
- ISFJ and ESFP
- ESTJ and ISTP
- ESFJ and ISTP
Can you make it work with an ‘incompatible’ partner?
The Myers-Briggs personality indicator test is just one of many possible ways to look at personality traits. The test can be a fun and informative way to get to know yourself and your partner better, but it should be taken with a grain of salt.
Many complex parts are involved in human interaction, particularly romantic relationships. And since you can actively work on making romantic connections last, as long as there’s love and willingness, you could make it work with any partner, incompatible or not.
The Myers-Briggs type indicator isn’t a validated tool to evaluate your personality type or romantic compatibility with someone else. However, it may be a fun way to question yourself and your partner in a way that fuels deep conversation about your interests and values.
The MBTI uses four scales to categorize a person’s personality based on their decision making behavior, preferences, and worldviews. It includes 16 personality types.
Some people use the test to evaluate romantic compatibility. In general, those who tend to lean on feelings seem to be more compatible with each other, even if they score differently on other scales.
But romantic compatibility is as complex as individual personality, so it’s difficult to calculate it as a mathematical formula. Still, taking the Myers-Briggs test can be a fun way to learn more about you and your partner’s interests and priorities.