We've all been burned in a situation where we've shared information with someone—about ourselves or others—and had that dirty laundry aired out. Trust can be quickly broken, which is what makes reliable friends and partners that much more valuable. It's not just about secrets either. Trustworthy people stick to their word and won't leave you hanging if you need help with a move or get stuck with a flat tire. As it turns out, this trait may have a lot to do with their individual personality type.
According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), people can be classified as one of 16 personality "types," depending on our different likes and dislikes, how we make decisions, and how we look at the world. The self-reported questionnaire determines whether you lean more toward Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I); whether you are more Sensing (S) or Intuitive (N) when taking in information; whether you are more Thinking (T) or Feeling (F) when you make decisions; and whether you are more Judging (J) or Perceiving (P) when it comes to the world around you. Depending on your answers, your personality type is identified by a four-letter acronym that can tell you an awful lot about yourself.
While it's not a perfect science, experts say that certain personality types tend to be more trustworthy than others. Read on to find out which five Myers-Briggs types are the most likely to keep your secrets safe and sound.
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People who identify with the ISFJ personality type are likely ones you can confide in. ISFJs are devoted and reliable people, and according to Joseph Puglisi, CEO of Dating Iconic, their introverted, sensing, and feeling nature "makes them really good friends and partners."
Nina Nguyen, sex educator, LGBTQ+ expert, and cofounder of the German LGBTQ+ platform Fraulila.de, adds that ISFJs are also non-judgmental, which may make you even more inclined to confide in them. "The ISFJ type is a good friend and/or partner who is more flexible than the others in their judicial system, so they are the best at keeping secrets without overly judging you and even empathizing with you," she tells Best Life.
And their desire to care for and protect others is not limited to your secrets, Puglisi explains. "They are also protective of their loved ones and can do anything just to protect them," he adds. "They are not only good at taking care of individuals, but they also take care of anything they seem to handle, be it values, communities, positive traditions, or even nature itself."
Extroverted, sensing, feeling, and judging types will keep your secrets safe, too, experts say. "The ESFJs are also known as caregivers; they tend to be extroverted, outgoing, loyal, tender-hearted, and organized," Puglisi explains, adding that these individuals will go to great lengths "to prove their trustworthiness to you."
They won't want to believe anything negative about their friends or partners, and they want to make sure that you feel loved, he says.
Nguyen adds that ESFJs "hold high respect for social responsibilities." "They understand how bad it looks when they break a loved one's trust, so they will always do their best to prove their reliability," she says.
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Another dependable Myers-Briggs type is ISTJ: Introverted, sensing, thinking, and judging people have a loyal and protective nature that applies to every aspect of their relationships. Puglisi points out that they are often cited as the most reliable personality type, because they "honor their words and commitment above anything else."
"If you tell an ISTJ to do something, you can trust them blindly that they will do it," Shazmin Rafaqat, MS, psychologist at Masood Hospital Lahore in Punjab, Pakistan, tells Best Life. "They honor their word and commitments above all else. If an ISTJ personality type person is committed to being your friend, or if you give them a job at hand, they will honor your word above everything and get the job done."
According to Arthur Worsley, founder of The Art of Living, ISTJs also hold steadfast to their beliefs in logic, law, and tradition. "Hence, following these strengths, they are very dependable, loyal, and trustworthy," says Worsley, who also holds a degree in psychology. "You can rest assured that they can keep secrets and will not betray the trust you have given them."
Much like ISTJs, those who are introverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging are also on the list of the most trustworthy, according to Ketan Parmar, MD, DPM, MBBS, a mental health expert at ClinicSpots.
"While the INTJ personality type is known for being highly intelligent, they also score high on trustworthiness, probably because they are self-aware enough to recognize the importance of trust in human relationships," Parmar explains. "INTJs focus on always doing what they say they will do, and they expect others to do the same as well."
INTJs are one of the rarest personalities, making up just 2.1 percent of people in the U.S., according to the career center at Ball State University. If you have an INTJ in your life, you should value their friendship or partnership, and trust that they will have your back if you have theirs.
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Extroverted, sensing, thinking, and judging types are great confidants, but they also aren't going to hold back when responding to the information you give them. According to Janet Coleman, health expert of TheConsumerMag, these loyal and trustworthy types avoid beating around the bush.
"They have a tendency to be blunt and matter-of-fact about things, which can sometimes come off as rude or insensitive at times," Coleman says. "However, ESTJs are actually just trying to keep things simple by not wasting time with unnecessary words or explanations. If you notice an ESTJ being rude or inconsiderate, they might just be trying to protect themselves from getting hurt by being too honest with you!"
Parmar echoes this, adding that ESTJs "prefer to focus on facts," noting that those who are introverted, sensing, thinking, and perceiving (ISTPs) also see things in black and white. "When they say something, they mean it, and they follow through," he says. "They are also very independent people who do not rely on others to do their work or for approval."