Healthy Mind

How to Make Big Decisions, Based on Your Myers-Briggs Type

Jenna Birch

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Have you ever made a decision that didn’t sit right with you? Maybe you went with the logically correct and practical choice, even if you wanted to follow your heart. Or maybe you gave into a knee-jerk reaction and immediately regretted it. When it comes to knowing how to make decisions, there are so many right answers, and depending on your personality, you may have a totally different interpretation of what’s best.

Some people have strong intuitive feelings about how to approach a job offer, a marriage proposal, or a decision to move. Others make choices that are rooted in fact, past experience, or what’s best for all involved. And for the rest, the decision-making process involves a blend of all the factors listed above.

Not sure where you fall on that continuum? Below, use your Myers-Briggs type to learn what you likely ask yourself when approaching a major decision, according to your strongest traits and values. (Still haven’t learned your Myers-Briggs yet? You can find out more here.)

Below, learn how to make decisions that are best for you, according to your Myers-Briggs type.

guardians
Photos: W+G Creative

ISFJ: Consider past precedent, then feedback from close loved ones

ISFJs process information through past experiences. When approaching a big move or a new opportunity, you’ll need to ask yourself what’s worked for you in the past and if you will feel comfortable taking the step. You are also very driven to make sure everyone in your inner circle is happy, so make sure to consult family and friends, and consider your decision will impact everyone you love.

ESFJ: Consider input from others, then past precedent

ESFJs are big lovers of people. Your family and friends mean everything to you, so it’s important to verbalize your thoughts and fears to them when you’re making major decisions. Get their feedback, because you thrive on their approval to feel okay moving forward.

It’s also important for you to assess what’s worked for you in the past, or where you can change what has not worked. Maybe that is moving across the country to be with a long-distance love, or taking the job in a new field. Looking back can help you move forward.

ISTJ: Consider what feels like home, then what fits your life

ISTJs are the ultimate creatures of habit. When you learn how to be in a relationship or a new position, you tend to settle into that, build out a routine, and make it your own. If it feels comfortable and you know you like it—whether “it” is a job, a person, or a geographic location—then taking another step is probably right for you. Also, it helps a lot if it feels logically right, like you are ready and prepared for the decision at hand, whether it’s marriage, a baby, or a home.

ESTJ: Consider the logical choice, then what you can build from

ESTJs do not like wasting their time and energy; you want to make the best choice, which, for you, is usually the logical choice. You also tend to enjoy building on your past experiences rather than overhauling your life. Ask yourself if this new opportunity is in line with what you’ve done previously, while still taking a step forward. To build instead of change, it’s helpful to see how an opportunity stacks up to what you’ve historically enjoyed.

artisans

ESFP: Consider what’s instinctually appealing, then what feels like “you”

ESFPs behave on instincts driven by reading external cues instead of internal ones. When making decisions, it’s important that you don’t overthink. You stop doing what you want and what’s authentic to who you are when you start mulling over what you “should” do or what others “would” do. This can keep you in situations you don’t belong, so for you, that first instinct is usually right.

ISFP: Consider what’s authentically “you,” then what’s naturally interesting

ISFPs know exactly who they are, and typically construct a life centered around their values. From there, you are usually able to make decisions that appeal to you on a visceral level. You might enter a new relationship after an instant spark, or you might quit your job because of a single moment where you see you’re not appreciated. But usually, these impulsive moves are a long time coming . For you, it’s safe to be guided by instincts and values. It’s where you are strongest.

ESTP: Consider what you’re drawn to, then what makes sense to you

ESTPs are constantly moving, and they stay only as long as it makes sense to their own personal system of logic. You are happiest when you acknowledge and recognize when it’s time to move on. When you know you want to move, you’re checked out of where you are currently living; you could pick up your stuff and jet out on the next flight. Don’t overthink it.

ISTP: Consider what aligns with your life choices, then what’s instinctually appealing

ISTPs rarely change their mind because they know what they like and what works for them. You have a deeply personal system of beliefs and logic that runs your life, and when something comes into your life that aligns, you know. Make major decisions in line with what you enjoy, inspires you, and excites you. Usually, if you follow your authentic interests, you’ll be making the best choice.

idealists

ENFP: Consider what will promote growth, then what feels right to you

The worst fate for ENFPs is to stagnate. You can’t stay in a place where you’re not valued or growing. If you are stuck in old patterns of thinking, holding onto negativity, or not learning new things, it’s time to make a change. And when you see something that piques your interest and aligns with your values and you can see growth, it’s likewise time to change. You often make sweeping decisions all at once.

INFP: Consider what feels authentic, then what will help you grow

INFPs are used to being misunderstood, and sometimes they feel pressure to make decisions that others will understand. But, bending to others’ thoughts about your life will never make you happy. When you’re deciding something, consider what feels authentic to your personality. Then, lean into what will force you to grow. You are at your best when you are exploring potential for your life, not when others understand what you’re doing.

ENFJ: Consider how loved ones will be affected, then what your gut says is the right move

For ENFJs, decisions are not strictly about them. If you’re being true to yourself, you have to factor in how your choices will affect those you love. Next, use that information to help you go with your gut. Strongly intuitive, you can gather all the intel you want from others, but only you will know the ultimate best choice.

INFJ: Consider what your gut says, then how everyone reacts

You usually know the choice you want to make, and you come to that decision quietly, over time, with lots of thought, and an eventual “eureka!” moment. Your gut check is your inner circle; when you approach making a big decision, you’ll feel better if you present it to your closest friends and family for feedback. But 99 times out of 100, you’ll know what’s right for you and will already be one foot in.

rationalists

INTJ: Consider what your intuition says, then the logical choice for your life

INTJs are very private decision makers. You rarely consult others, and sometimes the choices you make will seem out of left field to your friends and family. You are at your best when you ask yourself just two questions: Does this feel right in my gut? And, can I pull it off? If a big move passes both the gut and logic check, you’ll go directly into execution mode.

INTP: Consider what makes sense to you, then what will help you grow

INTPs are stubborn in their choices. You know what you think and how you want your life to go, and you don’t need to apologize for that. You will probably know who or what you want quite easily, but you don’t get carried away penciling it into your life before you stop for a gut check about whether or not it’ll help you grow. Only pursue it if the answer is yes.

ENTP: Consider what will expand you, then what makes sense for your goals

ENTPs chase possibilities because they are easily bored. Since you thrive on inspiration, you are looking to make the kinds of decisions that will sustain that feeling. For you, big decisions are about balancing the magic with the logic. If you’re considering a breakup, a proposal, or taking a new job, you have to first ask yourself if the possibilities seem more abundant than the alternative. Then, you have to ask if the move makes sense for your overall life goals. You should lead with your excitement, but make decisions with an eye toward what you want in the future.

ENTJ: Consider the logical choice, then what your gut guides you toward

ENTJs are often called cold, because they lead with their head in all things. Change must fit into your life seamlessly—making sure boxes are check is just how you’re wired. Approach any early decision with this sort of calculated thought, and then consider whether it feels right, and you can see yourself doing it. If yes, you can solidify your decision and go all in.

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