What Not to Do When Dating Each Introverted Myers-Briggs Type

An introverted Myers-Briggs personality type on a date

These are the biggest things to avoid when dating each introverted Myers-Briggs personality type.

When it comes to dating an introvert, there are certain pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. Take it from me, the founder of Boo, the MBTI-based dating and social app, as well as the most viewed Quora writer on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). 

Already have someone on your dating radar but not sure whether the feeling is mutual? Read my last article, How to Know if an Introvert Likes You, Based on Your Myers-Briggs Type.

So while you may not want to come out and immediately ask your latest love interest, “What’s your Myers-Briggs type?” at least you’ll be prepared when you do find out what it is.      

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

What Not to Do When Dating Each Introverted Myers-Briggs Type

INFJ: Don’t be rude or unethical.

INFJs are principled, generous, and talented communicators. They hold a passion for doing good for the world and the people they love, driven by their deeply held principles and values. They often worry about “the big things,” like the fate of society and the universe, and try to do what they believe is right and just, sometimes even sacrificing personal interest for the greater good. 

With INFJs, you’ll want to make sure you steer away from any rude or unethical behavior, like treating a waiter or those around you poorly on a date. They hold themselves — and those closest to them — to high standards, perhaps more so than other personality types. It’s important to treat them and others with respect and consideration; otherwise, you can find yourself on the other side of the infamous INFJ “door slam,” as they deem you toxic and cut you out of their life. You might also hear the word “narcissist” come up. 

As the rarest Myers-Briggs personality type, possibly making up only 1-2 percent of the population, INFJs frequently feel misunderstood and out of place — so you should avoid pointing out or judging them for their quirks. Usually amazing listeners, they especially appreciate people who can also reciprocate attentive listening, and make them feel truly understood and accepted for who they are. 

INFP: Don’t be critical or belittling. 

INFPs are optimists always looking for the good in people, even in the worst of situations. They can always find a reason to empathize with someone’s motives and give them the benefit of the doubt. They’re accepting, open-minded, imaginative, and spiritual. 

INFPs are usually highly sensitive people (HSPs) who feel and process information deeply. They want someone with whom they can be entirely emotionally open, sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings and connecting deeply. You’ll want to avoid being critical, as they need time to build trust and connection before they feel comfortable opening their hearts. Once they do, they love conversations about ideas and creative pursuits, like art, music, photography, literature, and other interests. 

INFPs also famously despise any form of bullying and belittling, so it’s important not to put down or make fun of others in their presence, especially the marginalized or vulnerable. Otherwise, you might find yourself being ghosted as you try to arrange a second date. Instead, you can show your kind and altruistic side by helping a homeless person or taking them to volunteer at a soup kitchen. 

INTJ: Don’t play emotional mind games.

INTJs are strategic, intuitive thinkers, and thorough planners. They exude a quiet confidence, intellectual insight, and knowledge. For instance, they’re the type of person who can cut through the noise of whatever problem you’re facing and tell you exactly what needs to be done. Problem with a coworker? Your INTJ dating interest can advise you on what to do.

With them, it’s important not to play any emotional or manipulative mind games during the dating phase, like pretending not to like them or deliberately waiting a long time to respond to a text in an effort to make them want you more. Like themselves, they appreciate people who are logical, honest, and direct. If not, in their typical, cool fashion, they may just cut their losses and move on. 

You’ll also want to avoid betraying their trust by flirting with or dating others at the same time. Lack of loyalty is often the number one deal-breaker for INTJs, so you’ll want to demonstrate that you’re someone they can rely on (you also won’t get to see their soft side until they know they can trust you). This means going above and beyond to show that you’re committed to them and them alone, like showing them that you’re building and planning for a future with them.

INTP: Don’t expect them to “read your mind.”

INTPs are the quintessential philosophers and independent thinkers of the Myers-Briggs world. They are logical, objective, open-minded, imaginative, original, honest, and low-maintenance. Sometimes, they’re also called the “warmest robots,” since they’re not the most emotionally expressive personality. Not one to sugarcoat things, they may leave conversations with awkward silences, but you can always count on their honesty. Want to know what they think of your new sweater? Only ask if you can handle it if they don’t like it.

It’s also important to know that the world of emotions and feelings is a strange place for INTPs, and they might not pick up on emotional cues and sentiments others may expect them to. They are typically in their heads, immersed in an analytical state of ideas, theories, and experiments, and usually just don’t pay as much attention to external cues. So it’s essential to be patient and direct, when you can, to let them know how you’re feeling (because they won’t be able to mind-read). Otherwise, expecting them to just know these things will likely frustrate them. 

You should also avoid being irrational and illogical. INTPs live by logical consistency, and dealing with people who don’t communicate or behave in logical ways frustrate them. This can include emotionally overreacting during an argument or reckless behavior that puts your relationship or future in jeopardy.

ISFJ: Don’t neglect the typical dating rituals.

ISFJs are supportive, reliable, and patient, and are always available to help people around them. For instance, they’re the kind of person who would bring you a plate of homemade cookies if you’re having a bad day. Underneath their warm and selfless demeanor is also a deep and resolute devotion to protecting their loved ones.

When dating an ISFJ or meeting for the first time, you’ll want to stick to traditions. They are personalities who enjoy typical dating rituals, the finer niceties (like the exquisiteness of an afternoon tea), and the fine environment of a fancy restaurant as part of the classic dinner-and-a-movie date format. Being quick to reject how things have always been done can be a turnoff to ISFJs because it feels disrespectful to cultural norms and societal institutions they care a lot about upholding. 

You should also avoid constantly surprising them. It would put them in a state where they can’t be sure how they’ll be able to react. Predictability helps them to feel a greater sense of security, as they can know what to expect. ISFJs worry about coming off as awkward, especially since they frequently live in their memories of the past, so any awkward moments may haunt them in a never-ending playback reel. 

ISFP: Don’t take away their freedom.

ISFPs are creative, artistic, and spontaneous souls. They are fiercely individualistic and pride themselves on thinking outside the box and crushing labels and stereotypes. You can tell by the way they flaunt their unique style of dress, for example — they’re often true to themselves and their artistic expression while not caring what others think. 

As brave and open as ISFPs are, they can also paradoxically take a while to share their innermost thoughts and feelings with new people. They worry they will get judged once they reveal their true selves to you. So it takes a while for them to open up to you. Examples include revealing their silly side and worrying that you won’t take them seriously, or waking up the next day wanting to explore life seemingly as a completely different personality.

Even when they are comfortable with someone, they still need time to themselves every now and then. They want partners who won’t take away their freedom and independence and force them into becoming someone others expect them to be. Otherwise, you can expect resentment and a strong desire to run away from you — fast. 

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ISTJ: Don’t be erratic or too unpredictable.

ISTJs are honest, responsible, and uphold their promises. You can count on their word, dependability, and long-term commitment, even during the tough times. If they arrange a dinner date for 7 p.m., you can be sure they’ll be on time (if not 10 minutes early), and have already reviewed and studied everything on the menu. 

Keep in mind that their emotional stoicism does not necessarily mean a lack of interest. They’re not the type to smooth-talk or give you constant words of affirmation, like tell you how great you look or how much they enjoy spending time with you. Instead, ISTJs show their love and appreciation primarily through the Love Language “acts of service,” whether it’s doing the chores or bringing you a pillow to make you comfortable. 

And, even more importantly, if you ever find yourself wanting more of an emotional reaction from them, it’s important not to become overly emotional in expressing your needs. Instead of emotional outbursts, they look for partners who show reliability and rationality. They’ll like a little bit of spontaneity (in moderation) to help them get out of their shells, but not too much. Otherwise, they may brand you as unstable and unreliable. 

ISTP: Don’t be clingy or overly emotional. 

ISTPs are cheerful, relaxed, and go-with-the-flow personalities with great common sense, who are also skilled with their hands and tools. They could be without a care in the world one second, but then in crisis mode the next (like when something breaks down and needs to be fixed, such as their computer or sink). 

ISTPs are also highly independent personality types averse to people who are overly needy or clingy. For any Avatar fans reading this, think Toph, an ISTP character from Avatar: The Last Airbender, who chose to retire to a swamp where she could be away from people months at a time. 

Suffice it to say, ISTPs like when people have their own interests and hobbies, and can give them the space they need to recharge and enjoy long periods of time to themselves. It can also sometimes be difficult to reach them via phone or text message (since they’re masters at avoiding social contact).

You should also avoid being overly emotional, another one of ISTPs’ pet peeves. ISTPs are factual, no-BS kind of people, and can’t stand it when their date overreacts emotionally, like going on and on about drama with friends or work. You probably won’t find a shoulder to cry on in an ISTP.

If you’ve managed to stay clear of these dating pitfalls and end up together, you can read Each Introverted Myers-Briggs Type’s Biggest Relationship Pitfall to better understand each other in order to stay together for the long-term.

Are you a single introvert looking to date and make friends? Check out my new app, Boo, to discover like-minded souls.

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Written By

Derek Lee is the CEO and co-founder of Boo, the MBTI-based dating/social app. He is also the most viewed Quora writer on the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) and an expert on the relationship between personality and attraction. His mission is to help singles meet like-minded souls and date better.