What's the best gift for each MBTI personality type?
It's the most giving-est time of the year! For some, gift giving comes easily (INFJs and ENFJs, we're looking at you). But for others, it can be a challenge. And it makes sense. Shopping for a bunch of different personality types isn't all cocoa and marshmallows.
So whether you're looking for a present idea for a teacher, manager, teenager or significant other, check out our helpful gift guide tips below with expert input from The Myers-Briggs Company MBTI expert and Solutions Consultant Marta Koonz.
Gift guide for ISTJ, ISTP, ESTP, and ESTJ
These four MBTI types tend to be practical and logical. When you're buying for any of these types, look for gifts that they'd find practical and useful. Often these types like gadgets - but useful ones. Maybe that grill fork with the built-in thermometer is perfect for your ESTP BBQ king or queen.
“People with preferences for ISTJ offer loyalty and responsibility. You can count on them to get things done steadily and on time. Try to find something practical they might already need, such as organization tools like a nice leather planner, or tools that improve their workspace or make home life easier. Bonus points if you plan ahead a few months to ask what they actually need, and then surprise them around the holidays!” says Marta.
“People with preferences for ISTP offer adaptability and practicality. Expedience is key for ISTPs—for them, the less discussion and fuss, the better. ISTPs also generally like gadgets—but they have to be useful. Think about a hobby they have or something they enjoy doing, and then find a practical gift that would help them enjoy it. If they’re into fitness, perhaps workout equipment or a gift card to a rock climbing gym. Or if they like making things, try a digital measuring tape or soldering kit.”
“People with preferences for ESTP offer enthusiasm, flexibility, and resourcefulness. They like to troubleshoot problems and make work fun. That survivalist guide to the outdoors paired with a flint lighter might just be the perfect gift for ESTPs who enjoy hiking or backpacking! Another gift suggestion would be providing an experience (rather than a tangible item), such as taking them somewhere they’ve never been before (but letting them help design the itinerary).”
“People with preferences for ESTJ offer logic and decisiveness. They like to organize projects and people and value competence and efficiency. Gifts that improve organization, efficiency, or speed are also appreciated. An electronic exercise tracker might be a good choice for ESTJs trying to improve their health by keeping track of exercise goals.”
Gift guide for ISFJ, ISFP, ESFP, and ESFJ
These MBTI types tend to be practical and sympathetic. They're people-focused people but with a focus on immediate, tangible help for others. When you're buying gifts for ISFJs, ISFPs, ESFPs, and ESFJs, look for gifts that combine the practical and the personal. Often these types appreciate knowing that you remembered a special interest of theirs. For SFs, it really is the thought that counts!
“People with preferences for ISFJ offer loyalty, cooperativeness, and kindness. They like to contribute to other people’s well-being. Gift ideas include reference books, note cards with a pattern or theme they like, or maybe a calendar with pictures borrowed from their social media accounts, such as Instagram or Facebook.”
“People with preferences for ISFP offer caring, consideration, and compassion. They want their outer life and work to reflect their core values. Some gift ideas for ISFPs include a small piece of art with an inspirational saying, a mug that inspires and supports growth, or an experience they would enjoy based on their hobbies, such as a gift certificate to an art museum.”
“People with preferences for ESFP offer enjoyment of life, friendliness, and enthusiasm. They like meeting other people’s needs in creative ways. Gift ideas include tickets to a concert or event, or planning a day trip to somewhere new for them that includes lots of free time or time to wander. They typically enjoy surprises and trying new things, or something handmade by a family member or close friend.”
“People with preferences for ESFJ offer helpfulness, compassion, and conscientiousness. They’re typically fond of celebrations and traditions. Some ideas for the perfect present include a special calendar with pictures they would enjoy (possibly borrowed from their social media accounts), a holiday decoration that has a special meaning/sentiment and will be used for years to come, or a collection of family recipes bound in a nice book (if they enjoy cooking).”
Gift guide for INFJ, INFP, ENFP, and ENFJ
When you're buying gifts for one of these four MBTI types, look for gifts that are unique and personal. Often NFs appreciate gifts that reflect who they are and what they value. For NFs, it definitely doesn't have to be practical to be valued!
“People with preferences for INFJ offer vision, compassion, and insight. They often understand others’ feelings and motives before they do. With preferences for Intuition and Feeling, they tend to be innovative and empathetic. Some gift ideas include a bucket list journal or other guided journal (if they enjoy writing), a gift certificate for a massage or other pampering, or a small sentimental gift that symbolizes a special connection or memory with them, along with a handwritten letter providing details of that memory.”
“People with a preference INFP offer open-mindedness, idealism, and insight. They want their work to have a purpose beyond a paycheck. With preferences for Intuition and Feeling, they tend to be innovative and empathetic. Gift ideas include personally picked out jewelry or a book you think would mean something to them or that is symbolic in some way, the gift of travel, such as a day trip somewhere new with time to explore, or a gift certificate for a solo activity, such as a getting a massage or visiting a museum. INFPs are often creating a future in their minds, so maybe a book about dream interpretation and journal to go with it would be inspiring!”
“People who prefer ENFP offer energy, insight, and innovation. They see life as a creative adventure full of exciting possibilities. With preferences for Intuition and Feeling, they tend to be innovative and empathetic. Some gift ideas include things that are meaningful to them, such as a coffee mug with a quote that reflects their values or interests, or providing them with a new experience—such as traveling to a new place with plenty of time to wander—seeing a show together, or making a home-cooked meal using a complicated recipe personally selected based on their tastes.”
“People with preferences for ENFJ offer understanding, tolerance, and appreciation. They like to encourage others and bring out the best in them. With preferences for Intuition and Feeling, they tend to be innovative and empathetic. Look for a gift that shows you used your creativity and knowledge of them to select it—perhaps something pertaining to their hobbies or something they’ve recently mentioned they liked or wanted. Another idea is making time with family or friends, doing something together that can be shared with others. If you’re artsy or creative, creating a “coupon book” of fun outings they’d enjoy would probably be a good gift.”
Gift guide for INTJ, INTP, ENTP, and ENTJ
When you're buying for NT personality types, look for gifts that are unique and thought-provoking. Often they'll appreciate gifts that are innovative in design or creation. Whether it's a book or a coffee mug, it needs to stimulate their intellect!
“People with preferences for INTJ offer originality, logic, and vision. They like complex challenges and value knowledge and competence. Gift ideas for those with INTJ preferences include a day trip to a place they’ve always wanted to visit (with their input in the itinerary) or a gift certificate for an online class in something they’ve shown interest in.”
“People with INTP preferences offer rationality, skepticism, and intense curiosity. With preferences for Intuition and Thinking, they enjoy taking ideas apart and reworking them, and they tend to be innovative and logical. Look for gifts that are thought provoking, hands-on or allow them to tinker and innovative in design or creation. Whether it’s a cordless drill and bit set for your woodworking INTP or a mobile phone case with integrated backup battery, it needs to stimulate their intellect! Another gift idea for those with INTP preferences includes gift card to choose their own gift from a store they like (and that they wouldn’t normally spend the money on themselves).”
“People with preferences for ENTP offer innovation and versatility, and typically they enjoy complex challenges. Whether it’s an intriguing magazine subscription on a topic they’re interested in or a melting-into-the-table illusion coffee mug, the gift needs to stimulate their intellect. Other gift ideas include a complete video series on a scientific topic such as ocean preservation or how the universe began, a day trip to a place they’ve never been before (with lots of time to wander!) that will stimulate their mind, or an innovative tech gadget. Whatever the gift, match their enthusiasm when giving it and you’re sure to make them happy.”
“People with preferences for ENTJ offer structure, strategy, and decisiveness. For ENTJs, whether it’s a stimulating video series or liquid plastic welder, it needs to stimulate their intellect. Other gift ideas include in-depth books about a topic they are interested in, a spa gift certificate (which would force them to take some much-needed time off away from work), or a day trip to somewhere they have never been, where they can set the itinerary.”
Whether you're already done with your gift-giving or a last minute shopper, take these tips to find that perfect gift for your favorite people!