Here’s How Each Introverted Myers-Briggs Type Handles Their Holiday Shopping

a Myers-Briggs personality type surveys his holiday shopping

No matter what holiday you celebrate, the season is in full swing, and you know what that means — shopping! Just for fun, here’s how each introverted Myers-Briggs personality type handles their holiday shopping.

How Each Introverted Myers-Briggs Personality Type Handles Their Holiday Shopping

ISTJ — speed and efficiency

Holiday shopping? Check. For this introverted personality type, efficiency is the name of the game. ISTJs have made their shopping list and are checking it twice — and it doesn’t matter if you’ve been naughty or nice, it’s the ISTJ’s sworn duty to give you a gift! Duty-driven and tradition-oriented, ISTJs will make sure no one goes overlooked. Just don’t expect them to hum a carol or bust out the eggnog while they do it; for ISTJs, it’s simply about getting the job done, no frills needed. You may recognize an ISTJ’s presents by their simple, uniform, and neat wrap job. And what’s inside may be more telling of their own personality than yours; you’ll likely find something practical that you can use right away. Think: jumper cables for your car, because hey, it’s winter, and everyone should be prepared.

ISFJ — better than Santa’s elves

Holiday shopping? What could be better! If there’s any introverted personality type that would fit right in with Santa’s elves at the North Pole, it would be the ISFJ. Wait, did I say “fit right in”? I meant “work rapidly and stealthily in the background making sure everyone’s happy and everything goes off without a hitch.” Yes, ISFJs are (quietly) leading the holiday shopping charge. And there’s probably no better person for the job. Caring and warm, ISFJs relish seeing their loved ones’ faces light up at Christmastime (or any other time of the year). That’s why they work so hard to pick out just the right gifts. And with a good eye for detail — as well as a nearly flawless recall of individual tastes and preferences — ISFJs were made for this. They’ll not only know your favorite color and shoe size but also remember that three months ago you casually mentioned you wanted a pair of slippers just like this. Spot the ISFJ’s presents by finding the ones with a flawlessly adorable wrap job, as well as a sentimental or personal touch.

(What’s your personality type? Take a free personality assessment.)

ISTP — do I have to?

Holiday shopping? What’s that? For many ISTPs, the holidays are nothing special, just days like any other. Unlike the above-mentioned personality types, who are driven by duty, tradition, and pleasing others, ISTPs aren’t tied to the “way things should be” or even “what others expect.” The quiet rebels of the Myers-Briggs world, ISTPs would rather program a robot in their workshop or tinker with the underbelly of their car than spend any time in a crowded shopping mall. Plan A is probably to get someone else to do their shopping for them, like a spouse, parent, or even a trusted friend. But if that doesn’t work, ISTPs will roll up their sleeves — or rather, open up their Internet browser — and navigate to the most reputable tech site with free two-day shipping. Mechanically-inclined ISTPs love gadgets of all kinds, or really anything that offers a hands-on experience. Don’t be surprised when, after opening this type’s present, the ISTP spends the rest of the evening showing you how to use it!

ISFP — the ultimate crafters

Holiday shopping, yay! Like ISFJs, ISFPs are great gift-givers. They, too, would make perfect additions to Santa’s workshop. But don’t think they’d get their thermal underwear in a bundle if one of the reindeer were late. Rather, you could find them spinning Christmas tunes or giving Santa’s red and white suit an updated look. Casual and relaxed, taking life as it comes, ISFPs just want to enjoy everyone’s company and have a meaningful holiday experience (rampant commercialization be damned). Known for their creativity and eye for detail, ISFPs will pick out unique personal gifts that show how much you mean to them — even if they are closing down the mall on Christmas Eve or paying extra for guaranteed one-day shipping! Spot an ISFP’s presents by looking for something artsy (and maybe a bit quirky). What’s inside may be custom-made, ordered from Etsy, or even handmade by the ISFP themselves.

INTJ — the ultimate planners

Holiday shopping? Bring on the spreadsheets. Similar to ISTJs, INTJs love speed and efficiency. They’re all about getting the job done, and getting it done right. And that’s where spreadsheets come in. The INTJs I know use spreadsheets for everything, from to-do lists to weight tracking to even their daily journal. Holiday shopping is no exception. Expect the INTJ to go into full-on spreadsheet mode if they have a lot of people to shop for. I’m talking multiple columns and tabs, as well as several gift options for each person, including product links. Masters of planning and strategy, INTJs will investigate every angle, from the warranty on Gift Option #37A to how long it will take to ship. The problem is, INTJs might do so much planning that they find they have very few presents actually purchased when the holiday draws near! Spot an INTJ’s presents by looking for simple wrapping (or the ones in bags with tissue paper — that’s faster). INTJs will do their best to give you exactly what you asked for on your holiday wish list. Since they usually have a very specific vision of what they want themselves, they’ll mastermind a way for you to get what you want, too.

INFJ — all or nothing

Holiday shopping? Yes… and no. INFJs are contradictory creatures. They’re hot or cold, on or off, all in or not at all. And holiday shopping is no exception. On one hand, INFJs make excellent gift-givers. Like ISFJs, they enjoy pleasing others, and the holidays can be a great time to do just that — even if the holidays are just a social construct forced down our throats by large corporations in the hopes of making big-time profits… eggnog, anyone? If the INFJ is “all in” for holiday shopping, they’ll do it right, obsessively right. Perfectionists to the core, INFJs will research and fuss and fuss some more until they’ve picked out just the right present for everyone on their shopping list. As Feeling types, they feed off the emotions of others, so making their loved ones happy makes them happy, too. Plus, despite their sometimes withdrawn and private exterior, INFJs really do care deeply about all the people in their life — from their friends, family, and coworkers to the guy who delivers their mail — and the right gift can express this without having to say anything at all.

But don’t be surprised if the INFJ in your life is cool on gift-giving. Like I said, they’ll do it right, or not at all. The holidays are so rushed and over-commercialized, anyway — and INFJs are just looking for something real.


Want an email whenever we write about your personality type? Sign up for our type-specific newsletters here.


INTP — the quiet philosophers (and secret softies)

Holiday shopping. What is holiday shopping, anyway? And why do we do it? What would be the best gift that anyone could receive? And is there a way to make the process better? The quiet philosophers of the Myers-Briggs world, INTPs usually care more about the ideas behind things than the actual things themselves. They enjoy thinking, pondering, brainstorming, and optimizing. When it comes to holiday shopping, they’re not on the warpath (like some other types) to get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Rather, they’ll take their time, seeking presents that are authentic and meaningful. Despite their sometimes “cold” Thinker exterior, INTPs are softies at heart, and secretly enjoy giving and receiving gifts, with almost child-like glee (even though they don’t know how to express it). Look for a meaningful item (although perhaps hastily wrapped) that’s sure to make you smile.

INFP — dreaming of the perfect gift

Holiday shopping? I’ve been dreaming of it all month! An inside joke, a special fond memory, an item that will inspire — these are the markings of an INFP’s holiday gift-giving. Like INFJs, INFPs are looking for something real and authentic during the holidays, something that doesn’t come with a price tag and a 30-day limited warranty. Caring and kind, INFPs love spending time with those they love, sharing what’s on their heart and mind, and getting a small moment of human connection in return, whether the halls are decked or not. Prone to idealizing the holidays (as they do with nearly everything else they come in contact with), INFPs will see visions of sugar plums and the perfect gifts dancing in their head. Though your present may have been wrapped five minutes before you received it (is this even Christmas paper?), rest assured that it came directly from the INFP’s heart. 

You might like:

Did you enjoy this article? Sign up for our newsletters to get more stories like this.

This article contains affiliate links. We only recommend products we truly believe in.

Jenn Granneman is the founder of IntrovertDear.com and the author of The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World. She also cohosts The Introvert, Dear Podcast and blogs for Psychology Today. For most of her life, Jenn felt weird, different, and out of place because of her quiet ways. She writes about introversion because she doesn’t want other introverts to feel the way she did.