The 5 Most Unfriendly Myers-Briggs Personality Types
These five types tend to be standoffish, experts say—even if they don't mean to be.
We all know someone who we'd say is a bit prickly. Perhaps they keep to themselves or just aren't overly warm when meeting new people. These surly folks can be tough nuts to crack, but what if there's an innate reason for their standoffishness? According to experts, certain Myers-Briggs personality types tend to be more unfriendly than others.
If you're not familiar, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a self-reported questionnaire that reveals your personality type, first published by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katherine Briggs, in 1943. The MBTI reveals whether you lean more toward Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I); prefer to use Sensing (S) or Intuition (N) when interpreting information; make decisions by Thinking (T) or Feeling (F); and are more Judging (J) or Perceiving (P) when facing the outside world. Depending on your responses, you are sorted into one of 16 personality types, identified by a four-letter acronym.
Experts say that five of these Myers-Briggs types are the most unfriendly, but according to psychotherapist Esin Pinarli, LCSW, MCAP, brainspotting and imago practitioner, and founder of Eternal Wellness Counseling, there may be "underlying reasons for their seemingly distant demeanor." Read on to find out which Myers-Briggs types are more aloof than amiable.
READ THIS NEXT: The 5 Most Confident Myers-Briggs Personality Types.
According to Reena B. Patel, LEP, BCBA, parenting expert and positive psychologist, people who are introverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging (INTJ) sometimes come off as unfriendly.
"The INTJ personality type is one that is self-confident and hard-working," Patel says. "However, others may perceive it to be insensitive because this personality type is hyper-focused on doing it right."
Patel adds that INTJs tend to be "perfectionists," preferring "prefer solitude over socialization," which some can interpret as them being cold or distant.
"They favor logic over emotions or empathic feelings as their preferred choice in decision-making processes," Patel says. "This can create the perception that they're unfriendly; an INTJ may struggle with emotional connections with people and may appear cold due to being very analytical and critical of others."
INTJ's extroverted counterpart, ENTJ, also makes the list of the unfriendliest, according to Christopher Paul Jones, phobia specialist, author, and speaker.
"ENTJs are often driven by their ambition and desire for success and they are often natural leaders who prioritize efficiency and results," Jones says. "In their pursuit of goals, however, they may come across as overly assertive or even aggressive, which can be perceived as unfriendly by those who value a more nurturing or collaborative approach."
Jones adds that ENTJs also tended to be more straightforward when they're communicating—thanks in large part to their "confidence in their abilities."
"While they may have good intentions, their focus on accomplishing tasks efficiently may overshadow the importance of building rapport or considering others' feelings, leading to them coming across as a lot less friendly than they actually are," he explains.
These "natural-born leaders" are also on Pinarli's list of potentially unfriendly Myers-Briggs types, but she adds that there's more to the story.
"Beneath their seemingly tough exterior lies an unwavering commitment to achieving their goals and a genuine desire to inspire others," Pinarli says.
READ THIS NEXT: The 7 Kindest Myers-Briggs Personality Types, Experts Say.
Another introverted personality type to make the list is ISTP. As Jones notes, these logical problem-solvers "usually value independence and autonomy," meaning they may prefer to work on things by themselves as opposed to with others.
"[This] self-reliance and tendency to be reserved can make them appear distant or unfriendly to those who seek more emotional connection or social interaction," he says.
INTJs also aren't always interested in social dynamics or small talk and would rather focus on addressing "tangible problems," Jones says.
"Their focus on efficiency and self-sufficiency can then lead others to perceive them as distant or uninterested in forming friendships or bonds which makes them seem more cold or aloof, which doesn't make them seem friendly or approachable," he adds.
Jones also says that people who are introverted, intuitive, thinking, and perceiving aren't always looking to make new friends.
"INTPs are known for their intellectual curiosity and analytical thinking and they enjoy exploring complex concepts and ideas," he says. "This means they're inclined towards introspection and independent thought, which may sometimes lead them to appear detached or aloof in social situations. [This] can be perceived as unfriendly by those seeking more emotional warmth from those around them."
They're also introspective, and when they do decide to participate in conversation, they're looking to discuss more abstract topics.
"Their preference for intellectual discussions and their introverted nature might then make them less inclined to engage in casual conversations or socializing, which can create an impression of unfriendliness, even if this isn't true!" Jones says.
For more interesting content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
You shouldn't expect extroverted, sensing, thinking, and judging people to strike up a conversation right away, either.
ESTJs prioritize efficiency, and similar to INTJs, they "excel at organizing and executing plans," Pinarli says.
"Their strong preference and propensity for practicality and adherence to established protocols may cause them to come across as uncompromising or inflexible," Pinarli says. "They are focused on accomplishing tasks efficiently, often placing a higher priority on productivity than on interpersonal harmony."
But while their "no-nonsense approach" can be off-putting, Pinarli adds that "a deep sense of responsibility and dependability" is hiding beneath it.