Although everyone is different, there is a widely accepted theory that there are 16 potential personality types that could be used to categorise a person. The criteria for these include attitude, thought process and lifestyle. The 16 personality types are a result of four sets of preferences. Although some types are very similar, your particular personality type will affect your professional life, the type of friends in London you will attract and your lifestyle. For this reason, many people find it useful to work out which type describes their characteristics best. The most popular personality test that uses this template is called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and questionnaires can be found online.
Extroversion vs Introversion
The main difference between introverts and extroverts is that introverts get their energy from reflecting then acting, while extroverts get their energy from acting first then reflecting later. Our article on introversion and extroversion describes the differences between these two personality types in more detail.
Sensing vs Intuition
Both these terms describe the way you take in information. People who prefer sensing are more likely to trust evidence and fact. Those who favour intuitive judgement on the other hand, are more likely to use abstract ideas or theories for information. These people are likely to say “I had a hunch”, whereas sensing types will usually dismiss hunches in favour of something more tangible and real.
Thinking vs Feeling
While sensing and intuition covers how information is absorbed, the difference between thinking and feeling relates to the decision making process. Thinkers like to take a step back from a situation and analyse it using all the information they have before making a decision. They tend to measure situations against their logic and rules and then work out where to go from there.
People who prefer feeling are more likely to try and imagine themselves in the situation and make a decision from the inside. Instead of focusing on rules, they will look at the outcome for everyone involved, consider their needs and try and reach a conclusion based on balance and harmony. Neither method of decision making is wrong and both can lead to rational decisions.
Judgement vs Perception
These two preferences describe lifestyle. Judgement refers to the preference between thinking and feeling and perception refers to sensing or intuition. In real terms, judging types prefer to have decisions made and settled, while perceptive types are happy to keep their options open.
Just as someone might prefer intuition over sensing and feeling over thinking, they might also prefer feeling over intuition, which would make them a judging type. Equally, someone might have dominant sensing and thinking traits but prefer to use sensing more than thinking, which would make them a perceptive type. This last category only describes the way someone interacts with the external world so their internal thoughts could be very different.
This is a very brief introduction to a complex theory. While no one wants to be labelled as a certain “type” of person, it can be useful in both your professional and social life to know where you strengths and weaknesses might lie. When analysing how a new friend in London reacts to you – remember the personality types above. You will be surprised how you can fit your new friends into these personality types.