If Buzzfeed’s financial success and our slavish devotion intellectual fascination with horoscopes have taught us anything, it’s that we really fucking enjoy learning new ways to frame upcoming conversations about ourselves. I’m def not saying it’s a bad thing to self-identify as a narcissist (hi)—in fact, I argue it’s even kind of necessary for our time, what with the ongoing cage match of Man-Baby v. North Korea, or that fun few weeks of “How Many Hurricanes Before People Stop Caring,” to name a few examples. Anyway, if you’ve ever willingly spent time answering questions to find out what kind of donut/pizza/other food item you are, then I really hope you were high do yourself a favor and take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instead.
If you don’t know what Myers-Briggs is, then I’d like to go ahead and assure you that those four letters (INTJ, ESFJ, ENTP, etc.) dudes will occasionally put in their dating profiles are not a code for a weird cult. Those are Myers-Briggs personality types, and as you might have guessed by this past reference, they’re both ubiquitous enough to be referenced in dating profiles and science-y enough to used by the same guy who would make fun of you for reading horoscopes. So, if you’re getting tired of blaming everything on being an Aquarius, your Myers-Briggs is the next best scapegoat for all your terrible life choices. You’re 45 minutes late to brunch because you’re an ENFP, and you can’t be tamed. Duh. Because I’m super generous, here’s a breakdown of what these letters mean, so you can start using them as excuses ASAP.
I vs. E: Introvert vs. Extrovert
If you need this one explained to you, maybe hold off on the whole MBTI thing and just go read a book or something. While people like to mask introversion vs. extroversion in fancy terms like “what brings you energy,” the answer to that question is Adderall coffee, not “recharging alone” or “being in groups of people.” Basically, you’re an introvert if you identify with any of Taylor Swift’s lyrics about going home to her cats, and you’re an extrovert if you identify with her nauseating #squadgoals Instagram days (RIP).
Introvert types include: INTJ (Architect/Mastermind), INTP (Logician/Thinker), INFJ (Advocate/Counselor), ISTJ (Inspector/Logistician, which is somehow not the same as Logician), ISFJ (Nurturer/Defender), ISFP (Composer/Adventurer, INFP (Mediator), and ISTP (Craftsman/Virtuoso).
TBH sounds like a lineup of the worst people you could ever date, and I’m saying that as a fully self-aware introvert (Trust me, I’m kind of a handful). TBH, if you’re an “I,” maybe don’t advertise it on your profile.
Extrovert types include: ENTJ (Commander), ENTP (Debater/Visionary), ENFJ (Protagonist/Giver), ENFP (Champion/Campaigner), ESTJ (Supervisor/Executive), ESFJ (Provider/Consul), ESTP (Doer/Entrepreneur), ESFP (Performer/Entertainer).
Obviously, this test is largely skewed toward extroverts (some bigger companies have employees take this test to see who has “leadership qualities” i.e. who has a big fat “E” in front of their type), so if you see these letters while you’re swiping it probably means they’re equally douchey, but maybe have more earning potential.
N vs. S: Intuition vs. Sensing
This one needs slightly more explaining, because it makes almost no sense. The description given on the MBTI website is this: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? So, if that’s the bar we’re going by, I think we’d all say we’re fucking intuitive. Like, if the guy you’ve been seeing naked for the past few weeks is tagged in an Insta with the caption #bae #lovethisguy, are you going to focus on the basic information there, or are you going to perhaps interpret and add some meaning? If it’s the former, good for you—I guess if you’re an “S” personality type. It means you’re super fucking chill and don’t jump to conclusions (but you’re also probably pretty boring and terrible at gossip). If you’re an N, then LMK where you’d like me to send your care baskets after you kill this guy on a hunch that he’s stepping out on you, only to find out the girl in the pic was his sister. Oops.
F vs. T: Feeling vs. Thinking
I actually fully stopped and checked to see who created this test just now, because I had a hard time believing that anyone other than a man would force you to choose which one of these activities you identify more with. TBH this is kind of like including a section that has you choose between sleeping and breathing, but okay. This test was, in fact, written by TWO women, both of whom I’m sure are emotionally compartmentalized in ways I can only dream of. Anyway, this part tests to see whether your decision-making is based on “logic and consistency” or “people and special circumstances.” Again, seems like one of these (thinking) makes you a real dud and/or low-key heartless, but it also probably keeps you out of a lot of petty drama and makes you way more efficient at your job. Make all your friends take this test so you know which one to go to for a post break-up cry and which one to go to when you need a scheming bitch.
P vs. J: Perceiving vs. Judging
Not to be JUDGMENTAL, but I’ve been on this website like, 100 times and I still fail to understand how this section is all that different from sensing vs. intuition. Like, they’re both asking whether you prefer to trust the psychotic voice in your brain over the world around you, but for some reason this one is tagged as “Structure” while S vs. N is supposedly about “Information.” Should I have paid more attention in Psych 101? Perhaps. Anyway, the general idea here is that S vs. N is more about how you are internally, while Perceiving or Judging is how you relate to the outside world. So, I’m assuming most/all of you are falling heavily on the “J” side of things here, but the Perceiving side sounds pretty nice too, mostly because it sounds like you’re high all the time. The sentences in the Perceiving section include stuff like “I am stimulated by an approaching deadline” (ew, why use stimulated here) and “I like to keep plans to a minimum,” so P might just mean that you’re really fucking disorganized, and I feel you.
Whatever this test tells you, the important thing to remember is that your category is only as good as you make it: Each of these 16 types definitely contains at least one excuse for your shitty behavior of some kind, like how my type, INTJs, are basically doomed to die alone so IT’S NOT MY FAULT I’M STILL SINGLE, MOM I don’t have to feel bad about cancelling dates last minute. Find your excuse and use it, I believe in you.