The Top 5 Rarest Personalities in the World
We all have unique personalities, which manifest in a range of different behaviors, skills, strengths and weaknesses. One way of understanding personalities is through the lens of Myers-Briggs personality types.
The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test is a self-completed personality questionnaire that explores how you perceive and make decisions within the world. You may be familiar with its four-digit personality codes, as it is one of the most popular personality tests around.
The Myers-Briggs model was devised by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, and was originally published in 1944. The approach was greatly influenced by Carl Jung’s 1923 theory on personality types.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator defines personality using data about where individuals fall across four key behavioral areas:
- Extraversion vs. Introversion (E and I)
- Sensing vs. Intuition (S and N)
- Thinking vs. Feeling (T and F)
- Judging vs. Perceiving (J and P)
The personality types are composed of four letters, corresponding to the traits exhibited most strongly. For example, ESFJ (Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging).
There are 16 personality types in total, although some combinations are much rarer than others.
Knowing your personality type, and that of your work colleagues, can help you to identify individual strengths and weaknesses, understand team dynamics and work together more effectively.
The 16 Myers-Briggs personality types do not present equally across the population, and some MBTI personalities are much less frequently encountered.
Whilst Introversion and Extraversion are fairly evenly split categories, Intuition, Thinking and Perceiving types are rarer than those with Sensing, Feeling and Judging characteristics.
Here is our list of the top five rarest personality types:
Individuals who identify as an INFJ Myers-Briggs personality type, arguably possess the rarest personality type of all. INFJs exhibit Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging preferences, making them quiet, reserved and empathetic.
They are often referred to as the ‘counsellor’ type, because of their strong listening skills and measured personality.
INFJs are excellent reflectors and in tune with how their actions impact others, which makes them good team players. They can, however, appear overly reserved in group situations, so may need encouragement to contribute their opinions.
Within groups, they have an aptitude for understanding the motivations and perspectives of others, displaying patience and compassion.
Those with an INFJ personality type also tend to be good at zooming out and considering the big picture. They are often considered to have a talent for recognizing patterns and considering more abstract possibilities.
They can, though, lack an ability to focus on daily details so may need extra support and structure to stay on task.
The ENTJ personality type presents most strongly in the characteristics of Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking and Judging. These traits make ENTJs strong leaders, as they exhibit confidence and determination.
ENTJs are known for being highly focused individuals, sometimes to the point of single-mindedness. They are often adept at seeing the long-term vision, and the steps needed to make it a reality.
They are driven, decisive and intellectually curious which, coupled with a strong will to succeed, makes ENTJs high achievers.
They are precise, logical and known for their ability to work in an efficient, strategic manner.
They can, however, be stubborn in maintaining their own point of view, and their dedication to stay the course can lead to the alienation of colleagues or employees.
People who have Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging qualities fall into the Myers-Briggs INTJ personality type.
INTJs are deep, reflective thinkers, with a talent for synthesizing and theorizing complex information.
They are quiet, sensitive and thoughtful individuals which, coupled with their ability to reflect and evaluate, makes them a valuable asset to a team. It is, however, important to ensure that INTJs are given the space to feel comfortable and share their insights.
INTJs seek a deeper level of understanding and are driven to understand the many layers of meaning in life. INTJs are rare, as they possess both creative and strategic abilities in equal measure.
They aren’t satisfied just contemplating meanings; they want to ascertain how they can turn their theories into tangible and impactful action.
Those with ENFJ personalities exhibit Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging traits, which means they are energizing, yet responsible and grounded individuals.
ENFJs are known for being emotionally aware which, coupled with their talent for motivating people, makes them a good fit for leadership positions.
As they are attuned to the emotions at play in their environment, ENFJ personality types are great at listening, empathizing and rebalancing situations.
ENFJs possess a strong sense of social responsibility, so are often focused upon ensuring values and ethics are central in any action.
They are often drivers of change, so can be valuable in progressing a new organizational strategy – ensuring employees are both brought along with, and meaningfully buy into, the vision.
Individuals with Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Perceiving qualities are identified as ENTP personality types.
They are known for being innovative and imaginative, which makes them well suited to idea generation.
ENTPs are strategic and evaluative, but couple this with a creativity that enables them to see potential that others may overlook. They have a strong vision for the future and are compelled to explore and understand new concepts.
As Thinking and Perceiving individuals, they can process things logically and strategically. They quickly grasp the implications of new information and are adept at enacting the necessary response.
The EN combination (pairing of Extraversion and Intuition) means that they are focused upon driving change. They may move from idea to idea or from project to project quite rapidly if they do not feel a sense of meaningful progression.
As idea generators, they can struggle to commit and see one idea through to completion, but they are often exceptional at offering inspiring and fresh ideas within a team.
The most effective and innovative workplaces are made up of individuals with many divergent strengths and weaknesses. This likely equates to there being many different Myers-Briggs personality types working alongside each other.
Whether you are a senior manager, line manager or an employee who works within a team, knowing the personality types of your colleagues and reports can help to increase productivity and ensure all individuals are duly supported.
Those with the rarest personality types can often feel misunderstood, so paying particular attention to bringing out the best of individuals with these traits can greatly improve employee satisfaction and enhance well-being.
Below are tips for adequately supporting the rarest personality types to excel in the workplace and for navigating work if you possess a rare personality type.
Those with INFJ personalities can be prone to perfectionism and overthinking. When setting tasks, be clear on the parameters and expectations, as INFJs work best when operating within a fixed structure.
It may also help to run through contingency plans and outline the chain of command or course of action in event of a setback.
INFJs dislike being put on the spot, so be sensitive to this by giving them advance notice of required contributions and presentations, where possible.
Be aware that an INFJ is unlikely to jump in immediately with a solution but will have a valuable contribution to make once they have mulled over their thoughts and absorbed the suggestions of others.
If you have an INFJ personality, you can manage your anxious tendencies by clarifying instructions and asking for clear performance goals.
If you struggle to focus on smaller day-to-day or detail-oriented tasks, build an allowance for this into your working practice. For example, schedule time in your calendar to complete each undertaking.
This will provide structure and ensure you allow yourself dedicated time to focus.
People with ENTJ traits are confident individuals who like to take charge. They are driven and focused, and this determination can sometimes present itself as competitiveness.
Managers should encourage an ENTJ’s drive to succeed, and ensure there are opportunities for career advancement to avoid feelings of dissatisfaction and dejection.
ENTJs like to feel that they are valued contributors, so be sure to ask for and take into account their opinions. As strategic, big-picture thinkers, they often have a new, insightful perspective to offer.
They also respond well to direct communication, so be clear on your expectations for them to feel equipped to meet their targets.
If you possess an ENTJ personality, be aware of your tendency to take control and ensure you are bringing others in your team along with you.
While you are likely adept at motivating individuals, ensure you are creating an environment in which quieter personality types feel comfortable to contribute.
If you are feeling stagnant in your role, seek out opportunities for increased responsibility and leadership.
Also, from a growth and development point of view, you’ll find you can usefully apply your competitive nature to expand your own abilities. Challenge yourself to master new skills and competencies which will increase your employability.
Individuals with an INTJ Myers-Briggs personality are strategic, long-term thinkers who possess great capacity for logical reflection.
INTJ personalities enjoy having autonomy and crave independence, so may need a bit of encouragement to communicate effectively with their colleagues.
They like to be intellectually challenged, so ensure that they are given assignments that satisfy this need to solve complex problems.
Without being stretched to come up with innovative solutions to new situations, INTJs will become restless and discontented with their jobs.
They work well to clearly defined goals, so ensure these are outlined at the beginning of each new project.
If you have an INTJ personality and are working within a team, make it clear that you work best in independent bursts, coming back together to share your ideas once they are formed.
This will help your colleagues to understand that, although you need space and minimal distractions to work effectively, you are still a team player and keen to contribute.
You work best on tasks that allow you to apply your logical and analytical mindset, so seek out opportunities that allow you to explore new, complex problems.
ENFJ personality types are enthusiastic, empathetic individuals with strong communication skills.
Although extraverted, they are sensitive to negative feedback so, if you are managing an ENFJ, make sure you are diplomatic in your delivery of constructive criticism.
ENFJs are compassionate individuals with a strong sense of social responsibility, so they thrive when tasked with designing solutions that have a positive impact in the world.
To retain an ENFJ in role, ensure that they are working towards a mission they believe in and that their tasks are aligned with their values and ethics.
As they are in tune with the emotions and needs of others, ENFJs make perceptive leaders. They can enthuse a team and adeptly dispel any tensions that may arise.
ENFJs work best in collaboration with others and draw their energy from the prospect of working together for a greater good. They are strong team players, as they enjoy forming meaningful relationships with colleagues and clients.
If you possess an ENFJ personality, you likely work best when you have a clear plan, so you can see the path of progress. Make sure to recognize your inclination to use creativity to find solutions that improve people’s lives – and find a job role that satisfies this.
ENFJs work well within charities, foundations, social enterprises or within corporate social responsibility departments.
People who identify as having an ENTP Myers-Briggs personality type enjoy a challenge. As charismatic individuals, they may sometimes find themselves being outspoken in the enthusiasm of communicating their thoughts.
ENTPs thrive in a debate and are excellent at dissecting an approach to assess its integrity and practicality. If you have an ENTP in your team, recognize their ability to problem-solve and give them the chance to contribute to the decision-making process.
ENTPs thrive with positive reinforcement and public recognition of their accomplishments so be aware of this and cater to it.
As original, imaginative thinkers, ENTPs make excellent idea generators. They can, however, struggle to see an idea through to completion.
They are best paired with a colleague who enjoys focusing on progressing a project through to the delivery stage, as this balances out an ENTP’s tendency to flit between visions and pursue new ideas.
If you identify as an ENTP personality type, be aware that you may struggle to decide upon and stick to one course of action. Practice decisiveness around your ideas and trust the validity and merit of your initial plans.
If a project hits a roadblock, know that it’s not necessarily the whole concept that needs reconsidering. Recognize your pain points when working – for example, your dislike of minutiae and operational detail beyond the initial conception stage.
Allow yourself to become comfortable with the inevitable stalling of progress and see it as a challenge to refine what already exists, rather than a reason to start again.
The INFJ, or ‘the counselor’, is said to make up around 1% to 2% of the total population in the US, and it is slightly more common for females to have this type of personality representation.
The INFJ is rare because of its very specific traits. They are very introverted and can be emotionally dependent, they are prone to types of clinical depression, and they are also perfectionists with their work and ideals.
This personality type can be difficult to manage in the workplace and they can be hard to get along with. However, if INFJ personalities are put on the right task, they can deliver results that no other personality type can because of their emotional insight.
The INFJ is the rarest personality type as it typically makes up around 2% of the population. Other rare types include INTJ ‘the mastermind personality’, the ENTJ ‘the commander’, the ENFJ ‘the protagonist’ and the ENTP ‘the debater’.
INTP and INTJ are often considered to be the most intelligent personalities. This is because of their inclination towards thinking in abstract terms and their ability to plan several steps ahead. They can sometimes seem ungrounded, but this is because their intelligence often carries them into thoughts that are difficult to have conversations about.
These personality types are often present in academics, analysts, writers and architects.
INFJ members can seem weird because of their emotional baggage, whilst ENFP can also seem strange because of their unmatched enthusiasm.
These two personalities are at opposite ends of the spectrum as the INFJ is introverted and insular and the ENFP is very extroverted and overtly idealistic.
Weird or strange is a subjective term. What may be weird to you can be completely normal to someone else.
As there are 16 different Myers-Briggs personality types, the chances are that you work with a variety of different personalities.
While some personality types are more common, no type makes up more than around 15% of the population, so diversity is assured. We are diverse in our ways of organizing, absorbing information, making decisions and interacting with the world.
Those with rare personality types may feel less understood, or catered for, than employees with more common personality traits.
Managers should take an interest in understanding the personality traits of their team members, so that they can provide the support and opportunities needed for all employees to thrive.
If you possess a rare personality type, it is important to be aware of your particular strengths and weaknesses, so you can use these to your advantage within the work environment.