You might be an awesome, exciting, self-actualizing, and self-aware human being. (In fact, I’ll bet you are!) But still, there are likely facets of the world that you just can’t see clearly. Everyone tends to lean into their strengths, subconsciously rejecting simple realities that could help them to become more well-rounded people.
Every Myers-Briggs personality type has “blind spots” with respect to how they perceive the world. Recognizing and acknowledging these blind spots can help you grow, strengthen your decision-making abilities, and enable you to have better relationships — you just need someone to point out the hidden truths that you might be missing. So with that in mind, here are the classic blind spots associated with different Myers-Briggs types. Find your type, find your blind spot.
Note: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test that helps us to better understand ourselves and the people who surround us in our day-to-day lives. It tells us what we do with incoming information — how we process it and use it to make decisions. If you don’t know your type, a quick online quiz can help you find out.
The type: ENTP
The blind spot: The beauty of the well-trodden path.
You like to do your own thing, to innovate, and you have a tendency to cut new paths rather than follow the norm. That said, in an effort to break the mold, you may have a tendency to reject anything that seems like familiar territory — phrases like “tradition for the sake of tradition” and “the way things have always been done” terrify you. In reality, it’s OK to like vanilla ice cream, have a church wedding, or settle in your hometown. Familiar paths are not lesser. They can even be the best, most fulfilling way to go.
The type: ISTP
The blind spot: Relying on others.
You’re the most independent type on the planet, and you relish your freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want. In fact, you might fear that relying on others, building relationships, or maintaining a tight circle of friends will hinder your individual growth and worldly exploration. This simply isn’t the case; in reality, you just need to find people who listen to you, understand you, and accept you for who you are. The right people will accept your need for space, and relying on others can enhance your experiences and help you make stronger decisions. All relationships are not limiting in nature.
The type: ESFJ
The blind spot: The benefits of argument.
You are, by definition, a person who likes to make others feel comfortable — and you are hypersensitive to perceived conflict. It’s great that you want to keep the peace, but some people aren’t just disagreeing to be difficult. Speaking up can be a way to express individuality or understand differences, and inciting an argument might be a way to test ideas. If you use disagreement for better understanding, it’s actually an amazing way to bring people together.
The type: ESFP
The blind spot: Going with the flow.
Although you are the fun, happy-go-lucky friend in almost every social situation, you tend to catastrophize when left to your own devices. You remember situations that went wrong — the car broke down on the highway, winter weather caused your friend’s flight delay — which can prevent you from taking any forward-thinking action. Remember that you thrive when you let life play out and adapt to it, and not when you worry relentlessly about events that will probably never take place (if you’re really honest with yourself).
The type: ESTJ
The blind spot: Empathy.
You are incredibly impartial and objective, and like to bring the hard line of logic and reason to everything you do. That said, sometimes considering the feelings of others (and your own) can actually help you execute more effectively. Remember that the next time someone has an emotional outburst at work, or your partner is being way too hard on himself. Supportively helping someone put their feelings into perspective, rather than simply dismissing them outright, can help you get back to those rational solutions more quickly.
The type: INTJ
The blind spot: Staying humble.
You are so forward-thinking and analytical that you often think you can place anyone or any situation into your theoretical model of the universe. Meanwhile, you aren’t taking into account that even the best guesses are not always correct; people change their minds, have changes of heart, or are dealing with unforeseen variables that affect the result. You are smart, but you are not always right — and sometimes, you need to accept the fact that irrational forces influence the way the world plays out.
The type: ISFJ
The blind spot: Flexibility in relationships.
You’re one of the MBTI’s biggest romantics and tend to internalize romantic ideals from a young age. You’ve always been observant, so you may end up thinking the “perfect” relationship is the one that has been modeled for you since birth. However, if you strive for this, you may miss the forest for the trees; the point of a great relationship is mutual fulfillment, not to re-create what your parents had (or what all your favorite rom-com or literature heroines had). If you feel unsatisfied with your relationships, ditch the model in your head. Date different people. Try new things. Be open to the right one coming in a totally unexpected package, but still making you feel the feelings for which you’ve always hoped.
The type: ESTP
The blind spot: Planning ahead.
You rely heavily on your ability to live in the moment and work your way through every situation — and you’re great at it. There’s no more perceptive, adaptable type than yours. That said, there are certain long-term considerations you need to make to get the most out of life and help others work with you. After all, you can’t just wake up one morning and have the career you want or expect the person you love to commit to you with no eye for the future. All plans don’t have to box you in; just view them as flexible road maps, where you can reroute if it makes sense down the line.
The type: INTP
The blind spot: Seeing strengths in emotion.
Like pretty much everyone else, you often crave that physical connection with others. You see the purpose in sharing ideas and having thoughtful discussion. But you tend to view love and emotion as humanity’s weak spot. In your attempt to understand how the world works and make the best possible decisions for yourself, feelings seem totally irrational to you and seem to complicate people’s lives more than solve their problems. In reality, you need to look at emotionally based concepts through a different lens. If logic is the black-and-white outline of the universe, love and feeling is what colors the world. Surrendering to the (occasional) craziness can be a healthy outlet for you.
The type: INFP
The blind spot: Finding joy in stability.
You’re the romantic, the dreamer, the lover, the wanderer… So you often loathe the sides of life that don’t seem to be brimming with potential, such as setting down roots in a stable community or getting a job in a stable field like business or engineering. However, having metaphorical roots in your life can actually help you to grow your wings. That structured job can lead to more money, allowing you to travel and explore. Or that rock-solid partner can be the awesome base that grounds you and helps you to take care of the practical parts of life, like paying bills and planning for the future. Don’t reject normalcy and stability outright; look at how it may benefit you.
The type: ENTJ
The blind spot: Having an open mind.
Love and dating may be your Achilles’ heel. Instead of looking for real factors of compatibility, like having the same long-term plans or getting along, you look for someone with the “right ingredients” of the perfect partner on paper — and then try to bring the relationship about by sheer force of will. Although you can achieve just about any other goal this way, relationships are much different. Irrational emotions do matter. Feelings may fire up with someone totally unexpected but make you happy and fulfilled nonetheless.
The type: ISTJ
The blind spot: Risk taking.
You really like following the clear-cut path, because you know you can do whatever needs to be done — and do it well. Imagining new possibilities, like studying abroad or forgoing your “type” to date your opposite, can seem tiresome instead of intriguing. Why try something new when the old still works? Because good is the enemy of great, that’s why. You don’t know what you’re missing out on until you expand your horizons — and you might find a path that suits you better than the typical one you’re currently on.
The type: INFJ
The blind spot: Simplicity.
You tend to see life as one giant landscape where everything is connected. You are especially in tune with how people are connected to each other and how you are connected to everyone else in your life. As a result, you start to read between the lines for hidden messages that may not exist. Remember that not everything has a deeper meaning. If a friend says she can’t hang out a couple times in a row, that doesn’t mean she no longer wants to be friends. When your partner seems irritable several days in a row, he might simply be forging through work problems that have nothing to do with you or the relationship. Don’t assume first; ask questions, or simply remember that there are more variables affecting interactions than you’re aware of — as aware as you may be.
The type: ENFP
The blind spot: The good parts about settling down.
You tend to value your passion, individuality, and ability to jump in with both feet. You love trying new things and want to explore the world (and people) as much as possible. However, you can subconsciously look down on others who don’t share your ideals — people who’d rather settle down early and have kids, for instance, or who are content with traditional roles. It’s important to respect people for the lives they want to live, even if they don’t break new ground, and to appreciate that everyone desires a different type of life experience. Those people you view as stable, loving, and contained often create the backbone of society. Where would we be without them?
The type: ENFJ
The blind spot: Logic.
You typically feed off of what you feel and trust those internal forces to guide you down the right path. You make decisions based on emotion and energy. You believe in gut feelings and tend to follow your instincts. You hate the idea of overanalyzing each step of your life. However, all that emotional energy can blind you to the best decision. When your life seems like a train rolling uncontrollably down the tracks, stop. Take a step back and think over how to make the best step forward. Sleep on it. Have you pursued a romantic flame too far, when you should let them go? Have your instincts led you into a career path that is no longer fulfilling, but you don’t want to give up the dream? Sometimes, detaching from your emotion is the answer to your problem.
The type: ISFP
The blind spot: Practicality.
You love to put art, individuality, and relationships above all else in life. While it’s great that you follow your heart, it’s also important to make practical considerations. You might need to keep that stable job while you build your career as a creative, end an unhealthy relationship that doesn’t make sense despite an abundance of love, or start a retirement fund instead of going on that writer’s retreat. Being sensible sometimes does not make you less committed to your dreams or ideals.
Jenna Birch is a journalist, a dating coach, and author of The Love Gap (Grand Central Life & Style, January 2018). Her relationship column appears on Yahoo every Monday. To ask her a question, which may appear in an upcoming post, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “YAHOO QUESTION” in the subject line.
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