The New Year’s Resolution Each Introverted Myers-Briggs Type Should Make

Hello, 2020. New decade, new you — or something like that. Here’s the New Year’s resolution I believe will take each introverted Myers-Briggs personality type to the next level.

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

The New Year’s Resolution for Each Introverted Type

ISTJ — I resolve to stop picking up other peoples’ slack.

Known for their unwavering work ethic, ISTJs get things done, whether it’s on the job, at home, or behind the scenes on the PTA committee. Dutiful and committed, they may feel restless lounging around, or really, whenever there’s no clear goal in sight. Want to locate an ISTJ? Just listen for the sound of items swiftly being crossed off a to-do list.

How do they do it? A Sensing personality, the ISTJ’s mother tongue is practical matters. They see when little issues will cause big problems down the road (get your oil changed now), or when work’s being neglected. And because they believe in a “right way” to do everything, they will formulate a plan of attack while others are still standing around, scratching their heads.

It’s no wonder ISTJs find themselves quite busy. They are the ones called upon when the chair leg breaks or the plant needs to double its production fast. And they’re usually happy to lend of hand — being useful in a practical way is what this introverted personality type lives for.

Problem is, most people don’t share the ISTJ’s work ethic, so there’s always slack to be found, and even seemingly superhuman ISTJs grow weary working themselves to the bone. When ISTJs stop taking on more than their fair share of the responsibilities, they’ll happily have more time to relax work on the projects they really care about. That basement won’t clean itself!

ISFJ — I resolve to see my needs and desires as valid rather than as burdensome or inconvenient to others.

If the ISTJ’s mother tongue is practical matters, the ISFJ’s is details — personal ones. When it comes to the people in their lives, hardly anything escapes their finely tuned radar. Highly observant of their surroundings and extremely perceptive of others, ISFJs notice the smallest slouch in their child’s shoulders or their coworker’s suddenly glassy eyes.

And, being natural caregivers, ISFJs rarely hesitate to offer a kind word or a batch of homemade chicken soup. Making other people happy makes them happy, and they could ride the high of good vibes and affection all day (even if they are plotting their retreat into solitude as quickly as possible — they are introverts, after all!).

Problem is, sometimes all that quiet caregiving means they neglect their own needs. They may even deem their needs and desires as “less than” or subordinate to those of others. While wanting to help is commendable, always putting others first is a fast recipe for burnout. When ISFJs make their own needs the priority, they keep themselves full — which is ultimately good for everyone, because you can’t pour from an empty cup.

ISTP — I resolve to occasionally share my feelings with others, especially those closest to me.

Present and pragmatic, the ISTP lives for the moment. Unlike some other introverted personality types who could daydream the day away, ISTPs are solidly grounded in the here-and-now. Think: actually building the robot rather than listening to a podcast about the theoretical dangers of robots taking over. In almost all aspects of life, ISTPs get up and do. This is not necessarily a means to an end (as it is for the ISTJ), but rather out of sheer curiosity and a childlike “what would happen” attitude.

Their relationships with their partner and friends are no exceptions. ISTPs would rather sit side-by-side with their spouse quietly watching a baseball game (it’s fun to share an experience!) than shower them with flowery words (too mushy!). When it comes to most of their emotions, ISTPs hide and protect them because they just feel so personal.

As a result, sometimes ISTPs come across as distant or cold (a common complaint for introverted Thinking types). Their loved ones have no idea that they, say, actually enjoy their presence, or, for example, felt a little down yesterday. When ISTPs slow down, set down whatever they’re tinkering with, and say (even in the simplest terms) how they feel, they’ll finally gain that warm, fuzzy feeling of closeness with other human beings that they secretly crave.

ISFP — I resolve to believe in myself as the creative badass I am and own my special artistic talents.

ISFPs are the quintessential artists of the Myers-Briggs world. That’s not to say other personality types don’t create art, too, and it also doesn’t mean all ISFPs wear French berets and paint stills of fruit bowls. Rather, a passionate lover of beauty and aesthetics is who ISFPs are at their core.

Their art takes many forms, from graphic design to repurposing old furniture to being the most stylishly dressed person in the room. Sadly, and similar to their intuitive cousins the INFPs, ISFPs can struggle with self-doubt. Introverted and often shy, ISFPs are the quirky wallflowers who love losing themselves in their music and sketchbooks, no audience needed.

While many ISFPs are talented enough to be designing their own clothing line or performing on stage, in true introvert form, they avoid the spotlight; there’s just something so personal about sharing their creations with a crowd. But when ISFPs recognize the beauty they’re capable of — the creative badass within — they give their craft the runway it deserves.

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INTJ — I resolve to take my own happiness into consideration when making plans.

Nicknamed “the Mastermind” and “the Architect,” INTJs are often 10 steps ahead of everyone else, especially when it comes to projects they’re invested in. Future-oriented and strategic, they’ve got a vision for everything, from how they’ll spend this evening to how their resume will look in their midlife years. Lists, calendars, and spreadsheets are the heartbeat of the INTJ, and being Thinking types, they focus on efficiency and logic. Similar to ISTJs, they feel restless when they lack a project, and they can only “do nothing” for so long.

Yet, for all their focus on goal-setting and achievement, many INTJs leave out one very important element: their own happiness. Sure, planning a road trip with as few pit stops as possible will get them to their destination the fastest, but will it make them (and their traveling companions) happy along the way?

In many areas of their lives, INTJs meet their external goals but ignore how their emotions will ultimately affect them. When INTJs accept that they, too, are humans who feel — and those feelings should be considered when planning — they’ll become masters of more than just their daily workflow.

INFJ — I resolve to share what’s on my heart and mind, even when I think others won’t understand.

INFJs can be mysterious creatures, even to those who know them best. Private and often contradictory in nature, INFJs feel things deeply but may struggle to share those emotions with others. It’s just another day, another interaction, when INFJs put on an “everything’s fine” face even when it’s not.

Similar to ISFJs, INFJs read people well. They know what’s expected of them, what’s socially appropriate, and even the right emotions to display at the right time — and they can see all over someone’s face when they misstep. Because INFJs can get so good at being what others need them to be, they may feel like no one sees the real them. They may bottle up their true thoughts and feelings, not expressing them because their “sixth sense” is screaming that others won’t truly understand.

This disconnect would be achingly painful for any personality type, but especially for the INFJ, who craves deep mental and emotional connections with others (despite being introverted). When INFJs choose to lower the mask and let others in a little more, they may be surprised at what they find: Not everyone will completely understand them, but there may be more common ground than they think.

INTP — I resolve to listen with an open mind, even when it doesn’t make logical sense to me.

Highly logical and insatiably curious, INTPs were voted Most Likely to Get Banned from Reddit for Trolling. Their big-picture thinking and unrelenting logic drives them to notice when things don’t quite add up. And nothing’s sacred to the quietly rebellious INTP, whether it’s religion, tradition, and especially “the way we’ve always done things.”

It’s not that INTPs are trying to come off as argumentative or harsh. In fact, INTPs are secret softies who approach the world with a deep sense of wonder and an almost childlike glee. It’s that INTPs often struggle to understand and express their emotions, favoring the logical part of their brain where they can reason things out in a way that makes quantifiable sense.

When INTPs resolve to listen with an open mind — rather than immediately poking holes in someone’s logic — they’ll find that others feel more comfortable opening up to them. In turn, this will help them nourish the close relationships they secretly desire.

INFP — I resolve to stop being so hard on myself when I don’t live up to my ideals.

While some personality types focus almost exclusively on practical matters or simply what’s in front of them right now, INFPs see the bigger picture. They see how the world could be, or better yet, how it should be. They see how humans could be better to one another. They see the underprivileged and hurting, and that we should collectively stand up and help. They see the good in almost everyone, giving grace to even the most unlikable characters.

Yet for all the grace and understanding they give to others, INFPs often fail to give it to themselves. They may beat themselves up when they fall short of their values (I’m vegan but that pot roast looked so delicious). They get discouraged when their life doesn’t live up to their midnight daydreams (why haven’t I finished my novel?).

When INFPs give themselves the same grace they give others, the war within them will cease. And that means more energy, time, and mental attention to devote to the things that really matter: living their ideals and values, not just dreaming them.

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Jenn Granneman is the founder of IntrovertDear.com and the author of The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World. Jenn is a contributor to Psychology Today, HuffPost, Susan Cain’s Quiet Revolution, Upworthy, The Mighty, The Muse, Motherly, and a number of other outlets. She has appeared on the BBC and in Buzzfeed and Glamour magazine. Jenn started Introvert, Dear because she wanted to write about what it was like being an introvert living in an extrovert's world. Now she's on a mission: to let introverts everywhere know it's okay to be who they are.