In Personality Hacker Blog, Questions from Readers

39788949_sPersonality Hacker receives a lot of emails from people asking for clarification around their personality types. Many do a lot of their own research until they narrow it down to two possible types before contacting us and asking for help. In our opinion, it is important for people to find their best-fit type because it’s their gateway to growth. Therefore, we provide as much assistance as we can.  

That said, it is difficult to type someone through a series of emails. Many of the nuances of conversation, which profilers look for, are neglected by the printed word (e.g. facial expression, voice inflection, gestures, speech patterns, etc.) This is why we offer a verification process by which a highly qualified profiler will talk to a client over the phone in order to determine their best-fit type.

When we do receive a personal request, however, we try to look for certain clues in their correspondence that may tip us off as to their type:

  • What words do they use? Words such as “Accurate” and “Effective” can indicate a thinker. Or phrases such as, “I think…” vs “I feel…”
  • How the person responds to the different type descriptions. Does one in particular make them feel understood and validated? Or does it make them feel relieved to realize there are others like them?
  • Is there one type that fits like a glove, whereas the other types only have one or two things that seem to fit?

Confusion can be created by reading different type descriptions and identifying with pieces and parts of them. The rule of thumb is to go with the type that creates a feeling of relief when one realizes they’re not alone in the world. There are going to be components of other personality types that resonate with us, especially if there are similarities in how they show up. However, one type should feel like it fits on multiple levels.

For instance, ENTJs and INTPs look fundamentally different because of the sandwich letters (ExxJ – IxxP), but when you observe the cognitive function stack of each they both lead with a thinking process – ENTJs with Extraverted Thinking or “Effectiveness” and INTPs with Introverted Thinking or “Accuracy.” PersonalityHacker.com_Sir-Winston-Churchill-ENTJ

ENTJs have a thinking process that is focused outwardly. They have a grasp of data and metrics in the outside world, which is why we call it “Effectiveness.” It’s about getting things done. It’s about finding the best, most streamlined way of doing things.
PersonalityHacker.com_Albert_Einstein-INTPINTPs, on the contrary, go inward in using their thinking process and that’s why we call it “Accuracy.” It is about data management within the person themselves.

So, even though it is a completely different expression, they both lead with a thinking process. That means a couple of things are going to be shared by them that aren’t shared by other types.

The consequence of leading with a thinking process is that their blind spot is going to be a feeling process. So, INTPs and ENTJs  are going to be more distant from the feeling component than any other Intuitive type.

This aspect of their personality is going to appear strange to a socially adapted world. Thinking-dominant individuals have even been labeled as Autistic or as having Aspergers’ Syndrome. While there are people who legitimately have these conditions, and are very challenged by them, it is possible the diagnoses get thrown around more than they should.

Some people who lead with a thinking process, and have more detachment from their feeling process, are going to appear less tactful and socially adept than the average person. This doesn’t mean they have a mental condition. It just means they aren’t as concerned with social conventions as others.27510305_s

Specifically, ENTJs lead with “Effectiveness” (Te), but they aren’t the typical extravert.They aren’t people-centric. They aren’t socialites. They are extraverted with structure and function in the outside world. They may even appear introverted because of their lack of social ability. In fact, many ENTJs have mistyped as INTJs.

Both ENTJs and INTPs lead with decision-making processes. So, they show up to the world as very decisive, with their learning process as a supplement. INTPs supplement with the learning process of Extraverted Intuition or “Exploration,” and ENTJs learn through Introverted Intuition or “Perspectives.” “Exploration” and “Perspectives” are as different from each other as “Effectiveness” and “Accuracy”, yet they are in the same positions in the car model, so they can get confused with each other.

Whenever anyone is deciding between two types, we encourage looking at the cognitive functions to see which ones resonate. Read various descriptions of the types and see which type fits like a glove and brings relief, then go with that.

Is It Possible To Be Two Personality Types?

There are many ways to utilize the system, and there are a lot of different philosophies on how it works. It is our belief, however, that no person is two types.

When coaching people and helping them use their personality type for personal development, it isn’t helpful to explore multiple types. The mind is wired in very specific ways.

What really convinced me that there is only one best fit type is Dario Nardi’s work, “The Neuroscience of Personality.” He and his student team connected people to EEG machines to map their minds. The data they culled from that study showed that when we are using the Driver process of our “best fit type” our brain goes into flow. It doesn’t do that with any other Cognitive Function but the Driver. We gain energy from using this flow state and it shows up in our brains.

So, when you figure out your Myers-Briggs type and you engage that dominant mental process you are giving yourself the gift of flow. In fact, if you aren’t in that process enough you will feel dysthymia and lethargy.

We believe finding your single “best fit type” to be the best path to growth. Find your dominant mental process and do activities that are nourishing to it. Then explore your Co-pilot process and find your best path to growth and happiness. Finally, explore the 10-year-old (tertiary) and 3-year-old (inferior) processes in your car and and see how they impact your behavior.29301668_s

This is extremely important to your personal growth and development and it doesn’t work if you add another layer on top of it (e.g. by trying to master two types). To try to move through the world with the two types of INTP and ENTJ would result in attempting to master all 8 mental processes.

It is interesting and intriguing, yet we haven’t run into a person who has so completely mastered the four cognitive functions in their car that they are ready to start mastering another four. If you are a rock star and have mastered the four functions in the Car Model of your type, then go ahead and add those last four functions. However, if you are like the rest of us then you will find it more powerful to focus on the four cognitive functions of your best fit type. Otherwise you are toggling between two worlds, which is only going to create undue hardship and confusion. The best scenario is that we focus on one type, and the best litmus test for finding that type is the feeling of relief that comes with finally being understood.


For more information on the Ambivert personality, please listen to Podcast 44 or reference this article: Are You An Ambivert Personality?


— Charis Branson: Inspired by PHQ | QUESTIONS: INTP vs ENTJ



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Showing 4 comments
  • Mel

    Question – Have any of your podcasts or articles addressed how a person MB type may change / shift over time…

    For example: When I was in my teens and 20s I tested as an ENFP. In my late 30s though my late 40s I tested as an ENTJ. Now I’m 51 and the result of the online test I just took came up as an INTJ, which I think is very odd.

    In general I identify as an ENTJ most of the time – at work and in problem solving situations and an as ENFP only when I am very very comfortable – when someone is in my “inner circle” as it were.

    Have you seen this sort of shift / split before?

    • Audrey

      I don’t know if you’ll ever read this reply, but here it goes anyway.

      The best way I’ve seen to identifying the personality of the type isn’t necessarily through testing, but through introspection coupled with opinions of someone trustworthy yet someone not impacted by that result… So a good thoughtful friend.

      It is also very helpful to see where you hold the most emotional trauma (for example, most of my cringe worthy memories all relate to my inability to connect with people or my inability to understand social dynamics, which was what finally made me accept that I wasn’t a feeler, despite my desire to be one).

      Do you feel panicky when you think about what you want as opposed to what is the correct answer, or do you feel panicky when you feel that you’re coming down with something? In other words, is Fi or Si that you have more lifetime trauma built up on?

      Remember you can only be one type, and get rid of the types that do not fit you 100%. The more honest you are with yourself, and the more you understand your own bias, the better and more satisfactory your answer will be. Don’t get attached to any one type and open yourself to all types.

    • Sophist

      Dude, cognitive functions. Look them up

      • Tran Phan

        You are super intelligent. Thank you for your ideas.

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