K-Pop's NCT Dream, ISTJs and MBTI Personality Type

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K-Pop's NCT Dream, ISTJs and MBTI Personality Type

Posted 28 July 2023 by
Melissa Summer
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6 min. read

K-Pop, the global music phenomenon, has captured the hearts of millions worldwide. With its vibrant melodies, dazzling visuals, and captivating performances, K-Pop has become a cultural force to be reckoned with. One standout group, NCT Dream, has recently released their third studio album with a title that might intrigue MBTI practitioners and fans: ISTJ.

The Allure of K-Pop

K-Pop, short for Korean Pop, is a music genre originating from South Korea that combines a diverse range of musical styles, including pop, hip-hop, R&B, and electronic dance. This genre is known for its catchy tunes, intricate choreography, and visually elaborate music videos. With a dedicated fanbase known as the "K-Pop fandom," K-Pop artists enjoy immense global popularity and often top international music charts.

NCT Dream is a sub-unit of the larger South Korean boy band NCT (Neo Culture Technology). Conceptually, each sub-unit targets different markets and demographics. NCT Dream was initially formed as a rotational unit, consisting of members under the age of 20, but later transitioned into a fixed group, captivating fans with their youthful charm and talent.

"ISTJ" Album and Song

Following the rise in popularity of the MBTI in Asia among younger generations, NCT Dream's newest album, "ISTJ," dives into the concept of self-discovery and explores the individuality of the members. Just like the diverse personalities that make up a team, each track in the album showcases the unique strengths and characteristics of the members.

"The MBTI test is so hot and famous in Korea, so we wanted to promote it to the global audience as well," NCT Dream's Canadian leader Mark said during a press event at a hotel in Songpa District, southern Seoul, Monday. "We also thought we could tackle a new challenge by adding the MBTI elements to our music for the first time. In our song, NCT Dream members assume the role of the ENFP boys while our fans play the ISTJ-type  girls."

Learn more about ENFP personality types.

Learn more about ISTJ personality types.

Don’t know your personality type? Take the official MBTI assessment.

In addition to the song “ISTJ” on the album by the same name, the nine other songs on the album have more creative, less personality-focused names such as "Broken Melodies," "Yogurt Shake," "Skateboard," "Blue Wave," "Poison," "Starry Night" and "Like We Just Met."

For the seven NCT DREAM members, "Like We Just Met" is particularly meaningful because they all participated in penning its lyrics.

ENFP and ISTJ personality types in a relationship

The music video for “ISTJ” has already hit 47M views after 10 days on YouTube, and personally if for nothing else, watch for the creative lyrical use of personality references (and some pretty amazing dance moves as well). As the band members travel in a space van from real world to ‘MBTI world,’ the song’s lyrics start out with:


“Introvert, Sensing, Thinking, Judging
Interpreting you, sixteen words
No need ‘cause I know some.
I'm reading through You-Ology,
fundamental principles, no mistakes accepted.
You seem perfect but even you might fumble this function.
Inside your emotions, stacked into layers
I want to get in and mess them up a little…”


As far as relationships and personality go, how would those with ISTJ and ENFP preferences get along? As far as what parts of personality would cause the most conflicts – look at the two last letters: T/F (Thinking and Feeling) and J/P (Judging and Perceiving).

Those with preferences for TJ, like the ISTJ type are going to extravert their Thinking preference. Because they’re so rational and level-headed, conflict often arises when someone challenges (theirs or others) authority or when the decision-making process is being addressed logically.

For contrast, let’s look at another one of the conflict pairs: the FP group.

For those with the last two letters F (Feeling preference) and P (Perceiving preference), the thing they have in common is introverted Feeling. This means that the Feeling function operates internally, and isn’t visible to the people around them most of the time.

When their deep-seated values are challenged, it often results in conflict. However most of the time people with the FP conflict pair won’t engage in conflict unless it’s an issue they’re really passionate about.

Those with ENFP preferences, for example, often prefer a democratic approach and want all people’s opinions to be heard, because they believe in the value of everyone’s contribution. Conflict can arise when they feel that people are being narrow minded, dismissive of others or not open to new ideas.

That said, opposites often attract for many reasons. You might admire a quality in someone else that you don’t have particularly strong skills in yourself.

Take Extraversion and Introversion.

You’ve probably heard some version of the joke “how does the Introvert makes friends at a party? They find an Extravert and then the Extravert makes friends for them.” If you prefer Extraversion, you might be attracted to someone who doesn’t speak whatever they’re thinking, who’s more quiet and contemplative because it’s different from yourself. Similarly, those preferring Introversion might be charmed by the ease and charisma with which many Extraverts can engage in small talk.

The lyrics for “ISTJ” touch on this attraction and reference these conflict pairs below:


“You and your routine, something special
(note that those with ISTJ preference often prefer logic and routine)
I'll try solving you as I feel
(reference to the ENFP boy with a Feeling preference, trying to ‘solve’ the ISTJ girl who prefers making decisions based on data and concrete facts vs. people’s emotions and values)
It’s the way you are, glamorous, dangerous
(I’ll chalk up glamorous and dangerous to creative lyrical license here)
The passion unprecedented in your world
(Real world or MBTI world?)
Let’s talk about it”
(Communication in relationships is always a win! More on that in this blog)


Communication, Appreciation and MBTI personality type

The Golden Rule (to treat people how you want to be treated) is good, but The Platinum Rule (to treat people how they want to be treated) takes it a step further.

If there’s one thing that you get from the Personality and Relationships podcast episode with MBTI Master Practitioner Michael Segovia, it should be this:

“People like to be appreciated in different ways. For example, people who prefer Thinking like to be appreciated for going above and beyond. Typically, they like that appreciation once they've completed something, not necessarily along the way. More often than not, they want that appreciation from someone that they value or respect. Appreciation from just anyone isn't as meaningful. My preference is for Feeling. I like to be appreciated along the way and afterward. Think about how you want to motivate and show appreciation to people who are different from you. And then treat them in the way THEY want to be treated.”

So, whether you're an ISTJ, ENFP, or any of the other 14 personality types, let the music of NCT Dream be a reminder that being true to yourself is the most empowering journey of all.

Want to learn more about MBTI type and relationships?