You can create deeper connections when you understand how each introverted Myers-Briggs personality type shows and receives love.
The 5 love languages were developed by Dr. Gary Chapman, and they articulate what it takes to help a person feel loved. By understanding how you show and receive love, you can create deeper interpersonal connections. The five love languages are:
- Words of affirmation — connection through sincere dialogue
- Quality time — connection through attention
- Receiving gifts — connection through thoughtful giving
- Acts of service — connection through shared responsibility
- Physical touch — connection through bodily contact
Introverts comprise up to fifty percent of the population, so chances are someone in your life — partner, friend, family member, coworker — identifies as an introvert. Often misunderstood to be unsociable, many introverts actually desire deep connection with a few trusted individuals. But the love languages introverts speak and understand are as diverse as the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types themselves. In other words, when it comes to introverts, one size doesn’t fit all.
Use the suggestions below as a starting point, remembering that each of us comes with unique life experiences that will influence what we need in a relationship. Learning the love language of your dear introvert will help you forge the authentic connection he or she craves.
(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality assessment.)
The Love Language of Each Introverted Personality Type
The ISFJ is the golden retriever of introverts: caring and dependable, they appreciate routine and peaceful environments. These hard workers take commitments seriously, and often find it hard to say no to those who depend on them. Like INFJs, ISFJs tend to enjoy social interaction. But, unlike their intuitive cousins, they are more likely to remember little facts and details about those they interact with.
Acts of service are a surefire way to connect with an ISFJ. This practical introvert is supportive of others and expects support in return. Saying no can be hard for an ISFJ, so do simple things that ease their burden and help them avoid burnout. Pick up the kids from school, get that package sent off, or cook an easy dinner. Practical themselves, ISFJs will appreciate you sharing the responsibilities of daily life.
Another way to connect with this caring introvert is to participate together in acts of service for others. ISFJs enjoy tradition and working behind the scenes. Together, you could volunteer each holiday season at a soup kitchen, or pick one day every year to round up donatables for a women’s shelter. For ISFJs, simple and supportive acts keep connections strong.
Nicknamed “the adventurer,” the ISFP is an independent soul. Creative and risk-taking, they lean toward activities that engage all five senses. Their focus on the here and now means that, although they might disregard the future, they will soak up all that the present moment has to offer. Artistic and gentle, ISFPs are sensitive to other’s emotions and feel the sharp sting of criticism. But their easy-going and accepting nature ensures that discord won’t last long.
If the ISFP in your life is your romantic partner, seek ways to connect through the love language of physical touch. Express your love through hugs, hand-holding, and calming back rubs. When respectful and wanted, these gestures help release stress for this passionate introvert.
If your ISFP is a friend or family member, find opportunities to experience or create art together. Shared creative activities that involve the five senses — singing together, photographing wildlife, listening to music — will appeal to many ISFPs. Or, if they fully embrace their daredevil spirit, suggest rock climbing, sky-diving, or some other adrenaline-pumping activity. And, afterward, give them plenty of space to retreat and recover in their ISFP cocoon.
At about thirteen percent of the population, ISTJs keep the wheels of the world turning. Ever-reliable, and with a tireless work ethic, these independent introverts can be counted on to get ‘er done. Happy to work hard behind the scenes, their efforts often go unnoticed. With a commitment to duty, rules, and tradition, ISTJs show they care through actions, not emotions. Calm and cautious, with strong attention to detail, they use practical logic to find practical solutions.
Speaking the love language of the ISTJ requires a delicate balance between showing your gratitude and respecting their disinterest in sentiment. Not ones to claim the spotlight, they might miss out on opportunities to experience the gratitude of others. A combination of words of affirmation and a thoughtful gift show that you appreciate their hard work and dedication. But keep things practical and uncomplicated: Simple words of thanks or a thoughtful (and useful!) gift go a long way to showing this dedicated introvert that they are appreciated.
The most physical of the eight introverted personality types, ISTPs crave novelty, freedom, and autonomy. Curious and independent, they often enjoy new experiences and spontaneous adventures. With their sharp minds turned toward their current projects, ISTPs are not ones for sentimental discussions. Although they might feel uncomfortable with offering emotional support, they will happily guide you toward a practical solution.
Because ISTPs engage all five senses to interact with the world, learn to speak their language of physical expression. Although originally intended to refer to touch, like pats on the back and hugs, this love language can just as easily be spoken by rolling up your sleeves to build or create something together. Different than acts of service — the idea here isn’t to relieve someone of a burden — joint projects provide moments of connection. And they might even result in getting a few items crossed off the home repairs list.
To love an INTJ is to love a “mastermind.” Driven by logic, INTJs focus on getting the job done, efficiently and well. Their dedication to work, usually at the expense of the touchy-feely, means they are likely to seek solutions, not hugs. Although great at making grand plans for the future, INTJs tend to neglect their emotional needs, and often succeed in their ambitions, but feel unhappy with the results; to the ambitious INTJ, it always could have been better!
If you love an INTJ, you’ll likely find that acts of service offer the greatest connection and support. True, they like to be the ones who get the job done, but you can help them focus on their master plans by taking care of the stuff of life. Empty the dishwasher or throw some laundry into the washing machine. INTJs feel the burden of responsibility. When you shoulder some of that load, you free them up to get back to work — which, for many of them, is play.
Heavy on logical thinking and light on emotional expression, INTPs often get stuck in idea feedback loops: Trying to see the forest for the trees, they end up intensively analyzing each fir and cedar that crosses their path. And their focus on process over product means they aren’t too concerned with leaving the forest, anyway. A brilliant but quiet soul, the INTP is vulnerable to burnout, like so many overworked lights on a Christmas tree.
Although not one for idle chatter, the INTP will be happy to sit with you, their trusted someone, and dig deep with theory and analysis. Words of affirmation are the way to this introvert’s heart — as long as those words are straightforward and unadorned. Listen to their observations and theories. And, most importantly, leave the personal and sentimental out if it. Big ideas are the only things under this conversational microscope.
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INFJs are often seen as the most contradictory of introverts. Their personality pendulum swings from quiet and withdrawn to outgoing and social. Depending on the situation and their energy levels, INFJs truly enjoy quality time with others. But as emotional sponges, they have limits for how much therapy and people-pleasing they can offer before risking an introvert hangover.
Deeply empathetic, INFJs will be there for you, often putting your emotional needs ahead of their own. But wound an INFJ and you risk the notorious door slam: To protect their emotional vulnerability and permeability, an INFJ might feel no choice but to cut someone out of their life completely.
INFJs speak the love language of quality time. They thrive on feeling understood, and your attention and willingness to dive deep will strengthen this connection. Natural therapists, INFJs use their wisdom and intuition to understand the world around them. And they appreciate when others listen to and communicate with them at this deeper level. The key word here is quality, so put down your phone, turn off Netflix, and fill your INFJ’s easily depleted emotional bucket with some undivided attention.
Hopeless romantics, with open hearts and deep feelings, INFPs look for the good in all things. Like INTPs, these deep thinkers find comfort in their inner world. But unlike INTPs, with their focus on logic and analysis, INFPs are more prone to engaging in creative thinking and artistic expression. For INFPs, meaning matters, so even though humdrum tasks might fall by the wayside, they find tremendous value in life’s little things.
The surest way to connect with an INFP is through words of affirmation spoken gently. This personality type takes things deeply to heart, and careless and critical words are extremely wounding to INFPs. A calm exterior protects their conflict-averse nature, and INFPs often struggle to voice their needs. Be patient and positive with these optimistic souls. The love language of an INFP sometimes requires that your words of affirmation are silence.
Personality type aside, we all need opportunities to show and receive love. Sometimes lines of communication cross and connections break down. Repairing those lines might mean learning a new language. Whether your dear introvert speaks in words, time, action, or in some unique introvert dialect, they will undoubtedly appreciate your attempts to understand and connect.
Introvert, was the love language I described accurate for you? Let me know in the comments below.
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