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

The new year is a time of reinvention: of our habits, our priorities, and sometimes even well-worn quirks of our personality. And, after living through the mess of 2020, who isn’t ready for a change in 2021? So, with a focus on growth and self-development, here’s the New Year’s resolution I think each introverted Myers-Briggs personality type should make.

(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality assessment.)

The New Year’s Resolution Each Introverted Personality Type Should Make

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

Known for their strong and 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 unstructured time with no clear goal in sight, like on long vacations, a “lazy” family afternoon, or even in retirement. Want to locate an ISTJ? Just listen for a pen scratch occurring at regular intervals, as they methodically check things off their to-do list.

How do they do it? A “Sensing” personality — the “S” in “ISTJ” — their native tongue is all-things practical. Tuned into their environment and their five senses, they see when little issues will cause big problems down the road (get your oil changed now), or when important work is being neglected. And because they believe in a “right way” of doing things, they will formulate a plan of attack while others are still standing around, scratching their heads. Take Queen Elizabeth II, Warren Buffett, and J.D. Rockefeller, for example, who are considered examples of famous ISTJs.

It’s no wonder ISTJs find themselves quite busy. They are the ones called upon when a kitchen drawer gets jammed or the factory needs to double its production ASAP. They’re usually happy to lend of hand; this is how they shine, after all.

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 scratch their favorite projects off their to-do list.

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

If the ISTJ’s native tongue is practical matters, then the ISFJ’s is details — specifically, personal ones. Another “Sensing” personality, hardly anything escapes their keen eye, especially when it comes to the people in their lives. Highly observant of their surroundings and extremely perceptive of others, ISFJs notice the slightest slouch in their son’s shoulders when he returns from school or their coworker’s eyes, suddenly becoming glassy after an off-hand comment from the boss. Natural caregivers, famous ISFJs are thought to include Mother Teresa, Clara Barton, and George H.W. Bush.

Thankfully for the rest of us, ISFJs rarely hesitate to offer a kind word, a hug, or a batch of homemade chicken soup. Making other people happy makes them happy, even if they are plotting their retreat into solitude as soon as they get home — they are introverts, after all!

Problem is, sometimes all that quiet caregiving means they neglect their own needs, but as self-less and kind as they may seem, ISFJs do have them. However, they may deem their needs as “less than” those of others, on account of their “Feeling” nature, which can lead to a desire to keep the peace at almost all costs. While wanting to help is commendable, always putting others first is a fast track to burnout. When ISFJs make their own needs and desires the priority, they keep themselves “full,” because, as the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

ISTP: I resolve to share my feelings with those closest to me.

Present and pragmatic, yet often quietly rebellious, ISTPs live for the moment. Unlike some other introverted Myers-Briggs personality types who could daydream the day away, ISTPs are solidly grounded in the here-and-now. Think: actually building the robot instead of listening to a podcast about the theoretical dangers of an AI uprising. 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 goal-oriented ISTJ), but often out of sheer curiosity, a sense of fun, and a “what would happen if I did this” attitude. Bruce Lee, Tiger Woods, and Amelia Earhart embody the ISTP spirit.

Similarly, ISTPs may rather sit side-by-side with their spouse playing Fortnite or watching a baseball game (it’s fun to share an experience!) than shower them with flowery words (too mushy!). When it comes to their emotions, ISTPs may hide and protect them because they just feel so damn personal.

As a result, sometimes ISTPs come across as distant or cold (a common experience for other introverted Thinking types as well). Their loved ones may have no idea that they, say, actually enjoy their presence at the dinner table, 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 may find that they finally gain something that can’t be found in a motherboard: intimacy.

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 that other personality types don’t create art, nor does it mean that all ISFPs own a Photoshop license or paint stills of fruit bowls. Rather, a love of beauty and design is who ISFPs are at their core, and their “art” takes many forms, from making music to repurposing old furniture to simply being the most stylishly (and uniquely) dressed person in the room. Famous ISFPs include trendsetters and cultural icons like Cher, Barbra Streisand, and Bob Dylan.

However, similar to INFPs, ISFPs can struggle with debilitating self-doubt, on account of their unique way of seeing the world, which often leaves them feeling pretty “different” and “weird.” And, while many ISFPs are talented enough to be designing their own clothing line or landing a record deal, in true introvert form, they avoid the spotlight; there’s just something so personal about sharing their creations with a crowd.

That’s why it’s so important that ISFPs recognize the beauty they’re capable of, and nurture their creative badass within. This year, ISFPs should resolve to give their craft the runway it deserves, whether that means finally enrolling in that audio production class or stepping up to the mic.

Like what you’re reading? Get an email whenever we write about your personality type. Subscribe here.

INTJ: I resolve to take my own happiness into account when making plans.

Nicknamed “the Mastermind” and “the Architect,” INTJs are often 10 steps ahead of everyone else, especially when it comes to the plans and projects they’ve taken a personal interest 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 20 years. Lists, calendars, and spreadsheets are the heartbeat of the INTJ, and being Thinking types, they focus on the most efficient way to get things done. Similar to ISTJs, they feel restless when they lack a project, and they can only “do nothing” for so long. Famous “mastermind” INTJs are thought to include Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates, Ayn Rand, Stephen Hawking, and Sir Isaac Newton.

Yet, for all their focus on goal-setting and achievement, INTJs often forget to take one very important thing into consideration: 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 (as well as their traveling companions) happy along the way? INTJs often forget that simply enjoying an experience — whether alone or with loved ones — is also a worthy goal in and of itself.

When INTJs accept that they, too, are humans who feel — and feeling a certain way can be just as important as the completed task — 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 are introverts who love people, and although they hate the spotlight, they often become leaders and role models in their own right. Just look to famous INFJs, which are thought to include Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, and Carl Jung.

Yet for all their outward passion for causes and ideals they care about, INFJs often find themselves struggling to share their personal thoughts and emotions. Sadly, for INFJs, it can become just another day and just another interaction when they 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 other people’s faces when they accidentally 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, the person they truly are on the inside. They may bottle up their honest thoughts and feelings, not expressing them because their “sixth sense” — their intuition — is screaming that others won’t understand even if they do open their mouth.

This disconnect would be achingly painful for any personality type, but it’s especially poignant for the INFJ, who craves deep mental and emotional connections with others. When INFJs choose to lower the mask (just a little) and let others in on their thoughts and feelings, they may be surprised at what they find: Not everyone will completely understand, 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.

Highly logical and insatiably curious, INTPs are the introverted personality type voted Most Likely to Get Banned from Reddit for Trolling. Their big-picture thinking and unrelenting logic — both superpowers — drive them to notice when things don’t quite add up, such as the holes in the latest internet conspiracy theory or why management’s latest policy won’t work. And nothing’s sacred to the quietly rebellious INTP, whether it’s religion, tradition, rules, or just “the way we’ve always done things around here.” It should be no surprise that famous INTPs include Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, and Abraham Lincoln.

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

Although a superpower in many situations, the INTP’s attitude can make things, er, complicated, when their best friend, child, or spouse opens up to them about a fear they have, or simply a bad day at work or school. So, this year, INTPs should resolve to listen with an open mind, especially when it comes to their most important personal relationships. When they pause and don’t start immediately poking holes in someone’s reasoning, they’ll find that others feel more comfortable around them, which in turn will give them the close relationships these secret softies crave.

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

While some personality types focus on practical matters (SJs) or what they can manipulate in front of them right now (SPs), INFPs see the bigger picture. Idealistic and ever the optimists, they see how the world could be — or better yet, how it should be — underneath the layers of hurt, bias, unfair power structures, and human cruelty. Similarly, they see the good in other people, often able to give grace and understanding to even the most unlikable of characters. Creative, free-spirited, and unique, famous INFPs are thought to include Audrey Hepburn, Fred Rogers, and John Lennon.

Yet for all the grace and understanding they give to others, INFPs often neglect to give it to themselves. Holding themselves to high standards (sometimes impossibly high), they may beat themselves up when they fall short or get discouraged when life doesn’t reflect their midnight daydreams. Of course, we all get discouraged at times, but for deep-feeling INFPs, the threat is more existential: If even they can’t embody their values, how can they expect others to do so?

This year, INFPs should resolve to allow themselves “human” moments, giving themselves the same love and understanding that they so freely give to others. When they do so, they’re embodying one of our highest human ideals: compassion.

Introvert, what are you resolving to do differently in the new year? Let me know in the comments below.

You might like:

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. 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.