Personality Types And Self-Esteem | Podcast 0459

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In this episode of the Personality Hacker podcast, Joel and Antonia talk about how each personality type builds self-esteem.


In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Check out our first episode in this series to get more context on this conversation.
  • What factors affect how we gain self esteem? A recent overview of how the 80s and 90s shaped this.
  • Distinguishing between different concepts of “the self”.
  • How do we evaluate ourselves based on our personality type? 
    • Check out our article on the Car Model to learn about the cognitive functions for your type.
  • xxTJ personality types – what are the advantages to experiencing role-person merger, and why can they struggle when evaluating the self?
  • xxFP personality types – what makes them confident in matters of the self, and how do they experience uncertainty and self doubt?
  • Why is fatalism dangerous for building self esteem?
  • xxFJ personality types – how do they gain self esteem through their relationships and how does logic undermine their self esteem?
  • xxTP personality types – how they build self esteem through core principles, and why this affects the way they perceive social rules.
  • Why telling yourself and others to “do better” can actually undermine self esteem.
  • Is there a right way to measure self esteem?
    • Group evaluation versus self evaluation.
  • How different personality types calibrate self esteem.
  • The relationship between uncertainty and self esteem.
  • How to cope with feelings of inadequacy.
  • How our backseat functions impact our self esteem in general.


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Showing 12 comments
  • Candace

    For Fe dominants (ENFJ here), I think the glowy Fe feeling comes as much from knowing I made someone feel loved or valued as it does from someone loving or valuing me–maybe more so. This sort of buttresses or stabilizes an Fe type’s self-esteem, I think, because though we can’t control how people treat us, we can always control how we treat other people. Anonymous helping with no thanks and no recognition at all is also satisfying–as long as there’s some kind of proof I was helpful (like seeing someone smile when they get an encouraging anonymous note at work). If there’s no proof, I’ll always wonder if what I did was actually helpful. It’s “the thought that counts” when people do things for me, but my thoughts don’t count to me for them. I need Fe/Se data. ? If I feel like I am a burden or am failing at helping, then I take a big self-esteem hit.

    But Ti is a self-esteem bottomless pit, and all the validation in the world wouldn’t fill it. Maybe in part because the Te proof is just not convincing? I don’t know. Good grades don’t help. Degrees don’t help. Promotions don’t help. Every single time I have to rely on it for work, school, or just life, I am afraid I’m wrong and stupid. It’s like the kind of amnesia where a person wakes up every day having lost all memories overnight and has to rely on little notes to relearn life. Past success has to have lots of little markers–like degrees, awards, etc.–or it will be totally forgotten. But those markers don’t get rid of the how-did-I-do-that surprise or the what-if-I-can’t-do-it-again panic. People who treat me like I am stupid make me feel instantly devalued, even if I don’t think they are smart themselves. It’s. Not. Good.

    The “no white after Labor Day” rule–I think that is more of an Fe+Si thing. My ESFJ and ISFJ friends have always been very aware of (and adamant about) things like that. I might be aware of those kinds of social rules, but following them, for me, is more about not making other people uncomfortable. I really don’t care. If I were in a place that followed different rules, I could give that rule up and not think twice about it. I’m guessing INFJs might care even less about a sensory, tradition-based detail like that than I do. But ESFJs and ISFJs notice those things. So much. ?? Rules like “Don’t run with scissors” or “Don’t drink and drive” or laws related to human rights, on the other hand–those are universally applicable and are rooted in good sense, not arbitrary traditions, and the consequences are serious and easily predictable. I care about those things.

  • Amy

    I never thought before about which cognitive functions my self-esteem came from but, indeed, my self-esteem is based on my competency and whether I’m living by my values, so that makes perfect sense that it’s Te and Fi that it comes from. That’s how I look at other people, too, by their competency and their values. But it seems to me that that makes it kind of easy for INTJs to have good self-esteem, if all we have to do is do a good job at things and live up to values that we, ourselves, come up with.

  • Ryan INFP

    Self esteem is in type before you remember so each will have their own level of self-esteem ISFJ will say they have low self-esteem because they catastrophize but it does not mean they do its just how they feel and express life. INFP vice versa. I also believe that your self-esteem is effected when you personally make a choice that goes against principles or as i would say against most of who you are. When i had to make TE choice over an FI decision it nearly killed me i am very happy i made that choice now. So basically i do not think it can be changed by outside influence or comments i am sure your self-esteem will only be effected by your own choices and i am also quite sure that if you do not see it like that then you are most likely not at piece with the past.

  • Ryan INFP

    I think when your self-esteem drops you feel shame and then depression. I think you don’t grow it it just is its not a bar that goes up it goes down and can go back up. I think its not the same as confidence confidence is situational. I would have said self esteem was a feeling of how you feel as a hole i think its been changed a lot over the years to me you was just doing a self assessment which then could be estimated externally.

  • Ryan INFP

    I have not listened to all the podcast but i do not think FI is trying to grow self-esteem i think it is full unless injured. Basically i think its why other types need scales to prove love or intelligence.

  • Ron Anderson

    It’s a pity TPs got short-changed in the pocast. You’ll find that you inadvertantly under-priotised these TP types who were then shuttled out the door because the store had to close. I will make a short comment that I hope will provide some insights. As an INTP there’s no question that my self-esteem is based primarily on two things – my creativity and my intellect. My creativity (Ne) is highly developed and part of my professional skillset as an advertising creative. My intellect (Ti) ditto. My experience as an INTP is is that this is not recognised as much by others as it is by me. Yes, people think of me as highly intelligent. Yes, people think of me as very creative. However my self esteem in these areas is higher than the assessment others have had of me in these areas. People have never recognised just how smart I am. For INTPs I encourage them to go get that external recognition. I have now completed my PhD and suddenly others are recognising what I knew all along – that I’m in a different intellectual league. Suddenly, it’s apparent to all that my attitude is not merely hubris – there is substance to my confidence in my intellect and creativity. This has always been an obstacle with me socially – a feeling that the tribe does not value or recognise the core strengths of my being, and my weakness in Fe has been unable to convey my value to the group effectively. As WB Yeats put it: the best lack all conviction while the worst of full of passionate intensity. This kind of thing makes INTPs feel like their talent and intelligence arr actually a hindrance, not an advantage. They are being hired and fired by Te types who do not have the same intellectual or imaginative powers. I think for INTPs this just leads to resentment, increased isolation, feelings of failure and a tendency to become bitter and sarcastic, to sabotage relationships with the world, and ultimately to flounder. I encourage INTPs to go get that credential that balances their relationship with the external world. Give the world proof. They will find it easier to get respect for that Ti an Ne and to be heard. I am not Mr Anderson, I am Dr Anderson. Thank you very much. Now, what point were you trying to make?

  • Birgit

    As an INFJ this was so accurate.. Introvert thinking can really beat me up and has done that since like for ever.. I will zone into my introvert feeling in my future.. Seeking harmony and value if people receive me or not, is really my default mode. I don’t feel I’m good at attributing to anybody, yet..

  • Taylor

    Great podcast, thank-you Joel and Antonia.

  • Kris Braddock

    1) That was a brilliant observation there at the end Joel. Self-esteem is generally regarded as positive or negative when instead it should be just as the name states: one’s accurate and authentic view of oneself.

    2) If you’re aware of Clifton Strengths, they define Positivity as influencing a room positively almost just by your presence. As an INTP, it’s no surprise that this strength is low for me, as in #34, dead last. I joke that when I walk into a room, shoulders unconsciously slump. I joke, but obviously it’s an insecurity that correlates to my inferior Fe. But in the big picture, I’m OK with that because I feel accomplished if I make people think. It’s funny, but if I’m talking to a group, I value contemplative silence rather than affirming applause.

    3) Finally,for young xxTPs who are insecure (and judgemental) about competence and knowledge, as simple as it seems, this XKCD comic helped to change my perspective:

    • Antonia Dodge

      Thank you, Kris! And I agree – that is an excellent XKCD comic.


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