The Quality that People Underestimate the Most, By Personality Type

Each of the 16 personality types has extraordinary qualities, strengths, and opportunities for personal growth. Whether you’re an Introvert or an Extravert, a Thinking type or a Feeling type, every combination in the 16-type system has a few traits that aren’t recognized often enough. For example, when I say I’m an INFJ, people are more concerned with my empathetic or enigmatic nature than some of my lesser-known strengths.

Each type has wonderful traits that others overlook. If you’re trying to feel a deeper understanding of other types or learn more about your type, here is the quality that people underestimate the most by personality type.

ENFP: Their talent for deep connection

ENFP personalities are extraverted and often bored, seeking out novelty and friends from all walks of life. At first glance, this may make them appear insincere, as though their main focus is their popularity. While they are, indeed, social butterflies, deep connection is what an ENFP wants most. An ENFP wants to know what makes a person tick and find the deep meaning and truth behind each individual. So, although ENFPs can appear superficial in their social life, they appreciate intellectual and artistic connections over more shallow bonds, making them an irreplaceable friend.

INFP: Their determination 

To others, the Healer INFP appears idealistic. Other types may see them as dreamers who are incapable of taking actionable steps toward their goals, but that isn't true. The open-minded INFP might be people-focused and idealistic, but their dreams often overlap with their care for others on intellectual or emotional levels, which drives them forward. They’ll tirelessly work toward these dreams, setting achievable goals until they’re a reality.

ENTP: Their serious side

ENTPs, the Visionary personality, appear serious and passionate when debating a topic. However, because ENTPs often switch from one novel idea to the next, they may come off as flighty. You may talk to your ENTP friend one day and hear one thing, to find they’ve changed their mind the following week. Their propensity toward—and subsequent abandonment of— new ideas appears wishy-washy and non-committal. However, this flexibility is a strength. Deep down, ENTPs want to know the facts. While new ideas may intimidate different personalities, Visionaries often help society advance. Their love for scientific exploration or thirst for continual theories is what makes a great innovator, like Thomas Edison.

INTP: Their human understanding 

The Architect INTP is all about intellectual conversations and debates, and logic often takes precedence over their emotions, but that doesn't mean they aren’t emotionally intelligent. It's true, INTPs struggle with feelings, but with practice and understanding, they may be someone's best shoulder to lean on. Since they enjoy offering logical solutions to problems, they’ll provide wise advice once they’re past their fear of emotionality. 

ENTJ: Their warmer side

ENTJs’ reputation isn’t for being loveable and warm when it comes to their workplace demeanor. The Commander, however, is quite loving and passionate when it comes to their friends, family, and partner. Although ENTJs have a hard time remaining patient and dropping their perfectionism, they make up for it tenfold in affection. Family is often essential to the ENTJs’ drive, and they’re often able to separate their work ethic from their personal lives.

INTJ: Their desire for deep connection

INTJ personality types may be blunt in an intellectual conversation and aren’t afraid to prove their point to the point of being damaging. Though their intellectual side isn’t afraid to think through rebuttals, INTJs are so much more than this side. One of their deepest desires is to find a partner who intellectually stimulates them and gives them someone they can rely on and lean on. Most INTJs will retain their independence as much as possible, but they can learn to accept help and emotional connection when they need it.

ENFJ: Their skills as confidants

ENFJs are The Teacher types, acclaimed for their humanitarianism. But people are often so focused on the teaching aspects of an ENFJ that they don’t see them as a confidant or a friend. Instead, people see ENFJs as mentors. ENFJs’ passion for helping and bettering humanity, along with their altruistic nature, makes them some of the best types to confide in. They remain open-minded and non judgmental. When you open up to an ENFJ, they want to help you solve the problem and give you the confidence to work toward your goals.

INFJ: Their attention to details

INFJs are funny contradictions, as you may know. These Counselor types aren’t always observant when focused on their thoughts, but when they set their mind to it, they’ll make everyone else's observations pale in comparison. When recalling an event or completing a project, they’re detailed to the point of excess. INFJs don’t always receive credit for their logical analysis of their surroundings or detail-oriented tasks. Nonetheless, INFJs are excellent at using their rational and Intuitive traits to extract facts in a small amount of time.

ESFJ: Their life management skills

ESFJs (The Provider of the 16 types) spend much of their time caring for others, putting family and friends’ needs before their own. While most of us who know an ESFJ will point out this type’s warm, self-sacrificing personality, it’s easy to forget behind all this nurturing is someone who has planned their own lives to the smallest detail, in their financial portfolios, their career, and beyond. These types also share their efficiency through helping other family members and friends come to wise, practical decisions. Yes, ESFJs can overlook their own needs, too, but often you’ll find these types are excellent managers of life.

ISFJ: Their depth

ISFJs are old-fashioned and value human connection for the greater good, but since these types are often reserved and serious, people don’t see their full depth. ISJFs, while pragmatic and stoic, are full of a creative, deep inner life. Once they blossom, ISFJ temperament can bring artistic, emotion-packed, relatable contributions to the world like the works of Beyoncé and Aretha Franklin.  

ESFP: Their devotion to loved ones

The playful, charismatic ESFP personality is called The Performer for a reason. But ESFPs’ fun-loving enthusiasm for life may obscure their profound devotion to their loved ones. While ESFPs are all about fun, games, and spontaneity, when it comes to family and friends in their inner circle, this type is self-sacrificing. They’ll do anything to help a loved one in need and enjoy employing practical solutions to people’s problems. 

ISFP: Their adaptability

The ISFP’s low-key, spontaneous lifestyle is what most other types see at first glance. Their go-with-the-flow vibes can be a bit too much for Judging types, but when an ISFP learns to apply themselves, their spontaneity becomes solid adaptability to change in the workplace, relationships, and the world around them. While others struggle to accept changes and risks, an ISFP can overcome these hurdles with great strength. 

ESTJ: Their familial drive

ESTJs are dedicated workers with their eyes set on success. This overachieving, Type-A personality may give off cold vibes. While ESTJs don’t spend a lot of time or energy recognizing their—or others’— emotional world, this type shows their love through provision and actions, be it financial, material, or otherwise. Although their behavior may be challenging for more emotional types, their devotion to providing, and succeeding, for the benefit of their loved ones is admirable.

ISTJ: Their cutting wit

The Inspector type, the ISTJ, is all about practicality, and their do-it-by-the-book attitude might conceal their lighter, intellectual side from others. They’re avid learners and researchers, passionate about tracking down the facts and employing them in conversations, and yes, even injecting this knowledge into their humor. Their knowledgeable remarks and witticisms are enough to win you over, whether you agree with their pragmatism or not. 

ESTP: Their entrepreneurial spirit

Anyone who’s met a dominant, dare-devil ESTP knows thrills and high-energy experiences in life is what this type lives for. While ESTPs are another type that appears flighty, happy-go-lucky, and flakey rather than committal, they make incredible entrepreneurs and career devotees. ESTPs aren’t the types to get bossed around—they’d rather be the boss. And that’s what makes these “Dynamos” like Evel Knievel and Madonna, successful in paving a path all their own.

ISTP: Their productivity

Craftsmen ISTPs get the recognition they deserve when it comes to their creativity, handiwork, and mechanical skills. However, these types are unconventional when it comes to following the rules or a set schedule. ISTPs prefer to work on their own time, do what they wish, and are independent. Because of these traits, other types sometimes think ISTPs are lazy. ISTPs can conform to a regular job, but many of them thrive in professions that let them work with their hands and require little supervision, fewer hours, or full autonomy. 

Summing Up

Each personality type in the 16-type system has an oft-underestimated trait, but once you’re aware of them, you can do your best to remember each type has major strengths, including your own!

Cianna Garrison

Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.

Comments

Diane Fanucchi (not verified) says...

Great article, Cianna.

This is a good reminder that we all have deep strengths that go beyond our stereotypes. I'm an INFP,

and determination is defintitely part of who I am. Still, even I need reminding of this sometimes. I'm trying to

get the courage to work through some professional challenges at the moment in order to rise to my goals, and this 

was a great reminder that my determination can be a real asset. Thanks for the positive nudge.

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