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“Enigmatic” types

September 6, 2014

Old forum post, and I thought for sure I had made an article out of it, but I guess from early ’11 it was before I began the blog, and by the time I did, and started posting on type on it (which was after awhile), I had forgotten it. (Did include the term in the Glossary, though). What I was probably thinking of, was the “Type Binary” article (, which covers some of this.

I believe that the “enigma” witnessed in some types is due to the disparity between personal vs impersonal factors in some of them.

Personal (relational): Feeling, informing, motive focus
Impersonal (task): Thinking, directing, structure focus

For the FP’s and TJ’s, all of these line up.
It is the TP’s and FJ’s where they do not all line up

STP Thinking, directing, motive focus
NTP Thinking, informing, structure focus
SFJ Feeling, informing, structure focus
NFJ Feeling, directing, motive focus

All Feeling types are informing except the NFJ’s.
This is perhaps why they have taken on the biggest reputation of being “enigmatic”.
Feeling is usually connected with the “responsive” people-focused social skills Keirsey dubbed “role-informative”, yet this one pair of types still manages to be role-directive like most Thinking types.
Directive is more than just issuing directions, though they probably do that enough. Keirsey, in Portraits of Temperament identifies it as “defining the relationship”. Basically, it’s an attitude of “don’t call me; I’ll call you”, as described for the corresponding “low Wanted Inclusion” in the FIRO and APS systems.

Hence, the types seem a bit aloof, distant, and perhaps unapproachable to most, even though they are still a Feeling type, and an extraverted Feeling at that. (This coupled with the misty introverted iNtuition that tends to make them directive in the first place).

All Judging types are structure focused except for NFJ’s
Likewise, structure vs motive is sort of “directing/informing” on another level (conative action and leadership skills instead of social interaction skills), and Judging is usually structure focused (fitting people into structures such as organizations or plans), but this one pair of types manages to be motive focused (take into consideration why people do what they do, in order to work with them. This factor identified by Berens, connecting SP with NF and SJ with NT).
Hence, the types still have an inner warmth, inside of the intuition and outward spunk of directiveness.

So basically, NFJ’s are task-focused where we would expect them to be more people focused; and people focused where would expect them to be task focused.

All Thinking types are directing except the NTP’s.
These types are probably considered “enigmatic” as well, and a big part of that is probably the “informing” nature making them a bit softer than other thinkers. The biggest result of this is many struggling with the T/F dichotomy and being confused with NFP.

All Perceiving types are motive focused except for NTP’s
This also creates an interesting mixture, of the non-seriousness and openness of P with the seriousness and tough-mindedness of T. As I pointed out in the Glossary, they can move back and forth between being very serious and analytical, to being very light and silly.
So they too are task-focused where we would expect them to be more people focused; and people focused where would expect them to be task focused.

The S’s don’t get the tag of “enigmatic”, but here’s the disparity as it continues onto their side:

All Feeling types are motive focused except for SFJ’s
All Thinking types are structure focused exept for STP’s.
All Perceiving types are informative except for STP’s.
All Judging types are directive except for SFJ’s.

It’s like S concretizes the judgment function/interaction style/social image match. So F is informative and T is directive.

Now, with the new “Cognitive Styes” concepts and associated tandem names, these “enigmatic” types all fall under the “Aligning Assessments” preference category, while the “consistent” ones are “Ordering Assessments”. “Ordering” even sounds like something that would go along with “consistency” (It “Defends Potential”—STJ/NFP or “Advances Reality”—SFP/NTJ), while “aligning” implies things that are different that need to be lined up (and thus “Enriches Reality”—SFJ/NTP or “Differentiates Potential”—STP/NFJ).

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