In every group setting—friends, family, workplace—you can can see people fall into certain roles. The leaders plan, the lovers soothe, the mediators fix, and the charmers put a smile on the faces of others. (Or, as I like to think of it, the Carries bring everyone together, the Samanthas give support, the Mirandas get s**t done.)
Your social function is likely determined, in part, by your Myers-Briggs personality type. Introverts are often behind-the-sciences types, whereas extroverts take center stage to execute their role. (Don’t know what your type is? Read this first!)
What’s your unique space in the group? Read on.
ISFJs never complain about their role making sure others feel seen, supported, and soothed. You’ll be the first to notice when a friend has disappeared from group functions for a while (and call her up), and the last to leave a party when everything is all cleaned up. While you often have a thankless job, just know you help relationships, parties, and office places run smoothly.
ESFJs are the Team Moms for soccer, the organizers at the school fundraiser, or planners of the charity gala. Detail-oriented and full of energy, you step up for this role so frequently it’s eventually just handed to you. When it comes to organizing, the extravagant and the minor, you are a force of nature.
At heart, ISTJs are rule followers who know the world is more efficient if others do the same. At a party, you’re the one who wants each activity to start on time. At your kid’s soccer game, you’re the coach who teaches the young players the fundamental skills. At the office, you’re always turning your projects in on time and done thoroughly—and helping your co-workers hit deadlines, too.
ESTJs are the bosses, commanding respect and attention almost everywhere they go. You are the person always prompting the group to take the next step. You’ll send out the detailed email for everyone to book the extended-family vacation overseas. You’ll show everyone the latest and greatest apps for saving money (and time). Or you’ll convince your friends to move the night out across town (because it’s just better).
ESFPs help everyone loosen up, no matter who the audience is. You’re the parent who’s the first to remind your child life is too short to worry after they get an uncharacteristic poor grade. You’re the friend who would rather dance than have deep discussions on a Friday night. And you’re the significant other who helps more serious partners maintain balance in their life. You help others smile and laugh.
ISTPs aren’t the most proactive socializers, but they are absolutely the most loyal. You show up to every event, party, game, trip, and night out that you possibly can. As a parent, you help your kids feel both independent and supported. As a friend or partner, you’ll be the constant cheerleader—even if it’s not in words. Your actions say a lot, and your presence is a constant.
ESTPs make everyone feel just a little bit better. People notice when you show up, because you’re constantly making others feel acknowledged while bringing the fun right along with you. You know how to deliver a great compliment—and the best one-liners. You’re also incredibly helpful; you like playing hero. You’ll fix your partner’s car, and then cook dinner.
ISFPs are fun and mysterious, but they’re emotional to the core. You are powered by the deep, meaningful, supportive relationships you have with others. You check in with your closest friends a lot, will offer to help your friend with a project (just because you know she needs to vent), and will always ask probing questions to get to the heart of any problem.
ENFPs are called “champions” for a reason. Whether it’s a person or a cause, your central function is to push someone or something forward with sheer passion and force of will. Socially, you’re the person who convinces friends, family, kids, and partners that they can do the same. You strip down their worries and fears, and are a mirror for their strength—and you do this better than any other type.
INFPs are not the type to do, do, do. Instead, your power within a group is to make others feel entirely loved and accepted for who they are. You welcome everyone to the party. You’re the first to get to know a new friend. You remind your kids of their uniqueness, and celebrate it. You are the loyal, supportive, caring partner who would move mountains for the one you love. There’s no type with a bigger heart than you.
ENFJs are charismatic and playful in social groups, but their primary function is to promote harmony. You are the bridge between two feuding friends, and the person who diffuses a fight between colleagues before it gets out of hand. You have a unique knack for knowing exactly what’s needed to bring two people together—and you execute on that innate feeling flawlessly.
If the ENFJ is the mediator, the INFJ is the mender or therapist. You see what others don’t: a hurting person who’s acting just fine, when a fight in IKEA is about more than just furniture choice, or when your child is internalizing negative words. You politely get to the heart of a person’s pain, and help them heal. You’ll talk through a problem or let someone vent their feelings, and then check in the next day to make sure they’re doing better.
INTJs are not the most obvious or flashiest friends and partners. But you do love deeply, have a great intuitive sense of what others need most, and you do it. Maybe your friend is letting their fears get in the way of their dreams, and you know just what to say. Perhaps your child needs extra time with their algebra homework, so you plan nightly study sessions. Or maybe your friend needs someone to accompany them to a party that their ex is attending; you’ll be there.
INTPs are both insightful and quirky, which is why they’re fun friends to have. You’ll ask your friends questions they’ve never even considered, and send them memes based on their specific brand of humor (moth loves lamp, anyone?). As a partner and parent, you’re loyal to your brood, and try to help your family members find balance between pushing to be their best selves and exploring like a child (or child at heart).
For every answer, ENTPs have a question. In your thirst for knowledge and excitement, you must always probe a bit deeper to get a better understanding or expose flaws in someone’s thinking. Your imagination is endless, so your queries often change from serious to fun. You’ll ask your colleagues the questions an investor or boss might ask, just to make sure they have all their bases covered. You’ll also ask your children questions you already know the answer to, “Why is the sky blue?” “What would life be like on Mars?” just to see their imaginations take off.
ENTJs are visionaries who inspire action toward specific goals. You’re helping your kids dream up their science fair projects, and your team members understand how their skill sets make the whole system work. You’re a friend who wants to know a person’s day-to-day life as well as their overarching plans. Whether it’s a friend, partner, or child, you always want to make sure others are getting closer to what they really want.
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