The Myers-Briggs Personality Gift Guide
Get the perfect gift for every personality type in your life.
The thing about all the holiday gift guides you see this time of year is that they don’t tell you how to match their gift recommendations to the different types of people you have in your life.
Sure, gift guides try to categorize items based on sweeping generalizations— "for the person who has everything" or "for your best friend, the astrologer"—but as you browse through them it’s still hard to tell whether your friends and relatives actually want 2020’s most popular pillow.
There’s nothing worse than giving a dear friend something that screams, “I don’t know you at all!” But that’s where this gift guide comes in: It will help you pair the perfect gift with each of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types.
You’ve probably taken the Myers-Briggs personality questionnaire at least once in your life. It’s basically the Hogwarts Sorting Hat of personalities and professions, reducing everyone who takes it to a 4-letter acronym that indicates their psychological preferences and their perceptions of the world.
Developed by the mother-daughter team Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers after WWII, the questionnaire is meant to help us choose the career that best suits our personalities. Well, couldn’t this work for Christmas presents, too? The answer: It can.
Just as the Myers-Briggs questionnaire recommends career paths based on whether someone is introverted or extraverted, thinking or feeling, perceptive or judging, this guide does the same for holiday gifts. All you need to know is whether mom is an ISFP or an ENTJ.
If someone on your list doesn’t know their Myers-Briggs personality type, just send them the questionnaire and tell them how much better life can be when you truly know yourself.
For the Inspector (ISTJ: Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)
Family and friends with this personality type like things to be organized and are considered to be careful planners. With this weekly planning board (EllieAvenueShop $39.99), no ISTJ in your life will ever have to leave anything to chance again.
And for the ISTJs who like to compartmentalize their meals, this 3-tier bento box (Amazon $16.99) is sure to make them feel like they at least have control over one small thing in their life.
For the Crafter (ISTP: Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving)
Any ISTP you know likely owns lots of tools for all the hands-on crafts they like to do, and a new toolbox to store them all is just what they need (Trusco Cantilevered Toolbox £130). This Trusco toolbox has a space for everything, which will make it easier for a Crafter to find the exact type of nail or screwdriver they’re looking for.
But taking things apart to see how they work isn’t the only thing ISTPs enjoy; they also like to learn new things through hands-on experiences. Gift them a MasterClass all-access subscription, so they can choose what they’d like to learn from a famous person.
For the Nurturer (ISFJ: Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)
According to psychologist David Keirsey, about 9%-14% of the population has this personality type, making it one of the more “common ones.” Your ISFJ friends and relatives are probably very attuned to your feelings and needs. This holiday season, show them you care about their well-being, too, with a Care/of vitamin subscription.
After taking a brief quiz on their website, Care/of will personalize monthly vitamin packs based on an ISFJ’s specific needs. Seriously, though, what says “I care about you” more than the gift of a stronger, healthier immune system?
For the Artist (ISFP: Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)
Much like Crafters, the great artistes in your life also enjoy hands-on learning experiences. And in the age of COVID-19 more of these experiences are taking place online, which means that an ISFP doesn’t have to live in New York City to take a class with the Art Studio of NY. Get them a gift certificate and let them choose the art class they want to take.
We all like to joke about how artists are always starving (even artists like to joke about this). Gift an ISFP this “I Need Money for Concert Tickets” sticker (SweetAndSassySticker $3.99) to display on their guitar, laptop, case of oil paints and brushes, or whatever it is they use to express themselves.
For the Advocate (INFJ: Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging)
If you have Advocate friends, keep in mind that they’re extremely rare—only 1% to 3% of the population have this personality type—and deserve a unique gift. Once we all start working from an office again, this Idealistic AF coffee mug (AmendableMugs $14.95) will be a great way for an INFJ to show off that they have high moral standards. Until then, what INFJ wouldn’t want to be reminded that they’re Idealistic AF with their morning coffee?
While Advocates are idealistic, they’re not daydreamers or philosophers—they strive to put their ideas into action. Practical Idealists: Changing the World and Getting Paid by Alissa Wilson, Ann Barham, and John Hammock (AbeBooks $4.31) will help them put their idealism to practical use.
For the Mediator (INFP: Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving)
INFPs are always looking for ways to best serve humanity, so your gift to a Mediator should do just that. Visit the Choose Love store to buy retail products for refugees on an INFP’s behalf. From emergency blankets ($10) to hot food ($15) to medical care ($50), you can buy life-saving and essential items that will be delivered to one of the encampments or migratory routes worldwide that need it most.
But if you also want to give a Mediator something small to open, you can’t go wrong with a "Deck the Halls with Equality" ornament (Social Goods $14) that they can hang on their tree.
For the Architect (INTJ: Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging)
Though rare, you might have an INTJ in your friend group or family. This personality type is highly analytical, so a game or puzzle that lets them exercise this logic would make a great gift. We suggest going old school with a Rubik's Cube (Hasbro $7.88) that’ll get an Architect bragging rights when they solve it.
INTJs also like working alone (or to feel like they’re working alone). With these noise-canceling headphones (Cowin $59.99), they’ll be able to shut out the world.
For the Thinker (INTP: Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving)
Thinkers have rich inner worlds and would appreciate a gift that allows them to quietly express themselves. An INTP could use a beautiful fountain pen (The Goulet Pen Co. $23) to put their many thoughts to paper.
And an online calligraphy course (TPK $25) would be a great way to satisfy that creative, “out-of-the-box” thinking side of an INTP.
For the Persuader (ESTP: Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving)
ESTPs have large groups of friends that they enjoy spending time with, so they’re likely struggling with COVID-19 restrictions. Give a Persuader the ingredients needed to host a virtual dinner gathering with a meal kit from their favorite restaurant.
For a simpler gesture that shows an ESTP in your life that you care, send them a Friendship Maintenance Postcard (Walmart $7.70)
For the Director (ESTJ: Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)
ESTJs are take-charge people. They like to assume leadership positions and feel like they’re in control. One thing they’d probably like to have a little more control over is how their house smells (who wouldn’t?). With this New Job-scented candle (Homesick $34), your Director friends and relatives can feel confident that their house smells good to everyone who enters it (not just themselves).
To help ESTJs feel organized and accomplished, a minimalist planner (Lemome $27.98) gives them a no-fuss way to stay on task—none of the effort it takes to keep a bullet journal required
For the Performer (ESFP: Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)
It’s true that ESFPs tend to like being the center of attention, but we’re not going to recommend gifts that speak to that part of their personality. Instead, we suggest you gift your performer friends and relatives experiences that will let them put their resourcefulness to good use.
From making Mexican street food to uncovering Pompeii with an archaeologist to writing your own murder mystery, Airbnb and Atlas Obscura have hundreds of courses to satisfy any ESFP on your list’s interests.
For the Caregiver (ESFJ: Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)
Often considered to be the doormats and pushovers of the Myers-Briggs personality types, ESFJs have a hard time believing anything bad about people, especially ones they’re close to. They get their energy from human interaction, and they long to be appreciated for their kindness.
For Caregivers, we recommend gifts that will help them relax and reflect, like a 5-minute journal (Intelligent Change $24.95) to help them think about the good in their lives or a yoga mat (lululemon $88) for a mindful sweat.
For the Champion (ENFP: Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving)
For all the enthusiasm and creativity ENFPs have, they’re not very good at seeing things through. We’ll be blunt: they’re procrastinators. It’s not a bad thing, they would just appreciate a gift that gives them a nudge in a more productive direction.
When there were offices for us all to go to, you can bet that the ENFPs in your life were always running late. They probably had to resort to drinking subpar coffee made by a coworker. A travel press mug (Bodum $37) is the clear solution: Champions can both prepare and drink their coffee while rushing to get where they need to be.
When it comes to staying on task, ENFPs need subtle reminders, which is exactly where this mousepad planner (Knock Knock $9.50) comes in. They can keep track of deadlines and to-dos while they’re working at the computer.
For the Giver (ENFJ: Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging)
It’s almost cliché to say that people who have a desire to help others often neglect their own needs, but this is true for ENFJs. Givers are great at making friends with diverse groups of people, but making time for self-care...not so much.
A CBD-infused patch (Healist Naturals $39.99) can provide ENFJs 24-hour support to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. Plus, they’re made with the highest quality CBD that’s been organically farmed in the U.S.
Transport Givers to a peaceful place with a Gilded Balsam Birch Candle (Caldrea $24). According to the product description on the website, burning this candle will allow “you to take in the magic of the snow dancing in the wind and feel its call to you.”
For the Debater (ENTP: Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving)
Known for their great conversation skills and love of engaging people in debates, ENTPs will appreciate a cocktail glass with this amazing quote from Kamala Harris—our future VP—painted on it: “I’m speaking” (MOONFLOWERbyMorgan $15+).
ENTPs are genuinely interested in better understanding the world around them. Even when they go around debating people, they tend to pose lots of hypothetical questions. They’ll enjoy xkcd creator Randall Munroe’s What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions (Amazon $15.76), a collection of answers to questions that have been submitted to Munroe through his website where he “serv[es] as a sort of Dear Abby for mad scientists.” The Debaters in your life have likely asked a few of these questions themselves.
For the Commander (ENTJ: Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging)
ENTJs have very strong verbal skills and need to feel like they’re in control. To help them keep their throat clear for all the talking they do, give them a 16.5-ounce bag of Fontus throat lozenges ($39.87). Broadway and other theatre performers swear by them, because they aid in the swift recovery of strained vocal cords.
For the Commander who likes to feel in control (and also drink wine), consider a prepaid membership for Wine Awesomeness. Whether you get an ENTJ a 3- or 12-month subscription, each month they’ll receive a curated box of wine delivered to their home. The best part? They get to choose the type of wines they want included in their box. That’s right, give ENTJs the gift of control over the wine they drink.