Adding character depth with personality types

Our characters are the soul of our story. There are many routes we can take to adding flesh to our character’s bare bones, but I find personality type to be a fascinating option, which can add a ‘real’ dimension.

Whether you already have a personality type in mind, or you want to find one that fits your character, the following can help to pick out the traits you want.

Summary of personality types with percentage of population:

ENTP: (3%) The debtor / The Visionary. Mental sparing. Loves a challenge. The devils advocate. Straight talking. Gets the the heart of the matter. Gregarious. Cannot resist an intellectual challenge. Friendly and charming.

ENTJ: (2%) The Commander/ The Executive.  Born leader, with charisma and confidence. Ruthless, determination and drive. Unwavering self belief in achieving their goals. Bold, strong willed. Naturally take charge.

ENFP: (8%) The Campaigner / The Champion. Charming and independent. Loves connecting with people. Energetic, warm, passionate. Always finds a reason to smile. Free-spirit. Loves to talk about people.

ENFJ: (3%) The Teacher / The Giver. Politicians, teachers, and inspirers. Lead by inspiring. Genuine, radiate authenticity. Mesmerise their followers.

ESTP: (4%) The Entrepreneur / The Dynamo. The centre of attention. Risk takers. Energetic thrill-seeker. Metaphorical fire-fighters. Life of the party. Live in the moment. Live on the edge. Love to chat and joke. Playful.

ESTJ: (9%) The Guardian / The Supervisor. Hardworking and traditional. Strong sense of right and wrong. Community organiser. Love to organise things and people to a purpose. Conventional and factual.

ESFP: (9%) The Entertainer / The Performer. Born entertainer. Love the spotlight. Stylish. Spontaneous, fun-loving, and engaging. Contagious enthusiasm for life. Soul of the party. Involves others in having fun.

ESFJ: (12%) The Caregiver / The Provider. Popular and social. Conscientious helpers and generous with their time. Love to gossip and play host. Practical. Caring and eager to help. Social organisers.

INTP: (3%) The thinker/ The Architect. Inventive and creative, with a unique perspective and vigorous intellect. The philosopher, the architect, or the dreamy professor. Finds discrepancies in statements. Passionate innovators.

INTJ: (2%) The Mastermind / The Scientist . Imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, and amazingly curious. Logical. Analytical problem solvers. Confident. Thirst for knowledge. Reserved, serious, strategic thinkers.

INFP: (4%) The Idealist / The healer. Calm, reserved, shy. Seek to find the good in the worst people. Kind. Imaginative idealist. Non-judgemental. Artistic/ Poetic. Reflective, spiritual, and constantly seeking a deeper understanding of life.

INFJ: (2%) The Advocate / The Protector. Morally astute. Soft spoken. Use warm, sensitive language. Creative. Insightful about others. Reserved. Quiet and mystical. Listen attentively. Highly perceptive.

ISTP: (5%) The Craftsman / The Mechanic. Practical problem solvers. Love to build or create. Explore with their hands. Trial and error approach. Mechanics and engineers. Bold and practical experimenters. May appear reserved.

ISTJ: (12%) The duty fulfiller / The Inspector. Practical logic. Dedication to duty. Enforce order. No-nonsense. Upholder of the law. Hard working and persistent. Fact minded and reliable. Serious and conservative.

ISFP: (8%) The Adventurer / The Artist. Live in a colourful, sensual world. Non-traditional. Seek out beauty. Enjoy life, and go with the flow. Unconventional. Quiet and unassuming. Flexible and charming. Enjoy new experiences. May appear distant or aloof.

ISFJ: (14%) The Defender / The Nurturer. Industrious, practical and compassionate careers. Meet kindness with kindness. Humble and unassuming. Sincere. Social, but don’t want the spot light. Offer assistance with modesty.

6 thoughts on “Adding character depth with personality types

    1. Thanks Russell. I think we probably naturally consider people’s personality, but I also think we are naturally drawn to our own, or to that of people we know well. Putting a unique voice, whether through personality profiles, or some other means, is the important part. I do like personality profiles myself 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Georgina,

    I’ve incorporated Carl Jung’s / Myer-Briggs personality types into my character sheets about six months ago. I find its very useful for characterisation especially when describing reactions to situations and making decisions for these characters. It helps to provide a guide when asking, “So how would my character react to this.” I also come from a HR background so I suppose it seemed natural to include it, although I don’t agree with theory that one personality type fits a person for life. I feel a personality type may change depending on experience gained and the situation. I’ve taken the Myer Briggs a few times in the last twenty years and have witnessed my own diagnosed personality type change over time. Thanks for the post, its great food for thought and the imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great points, and nice to find someone else using the personality profile to support character development 🙂 interesting point about personality changing over time. I think some of my scales have shifted, but not in a fundamental way. More like stepping out of your comfort zone and discovering it’s not so bad on the other side 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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