Metaphors For Personality (A Complete Guide)

In this article, we will discuss the metaphors for personality, what are metaphors in general, how they relate to the personality types, personality serving as a metaphor, different personality types and metaphors that describe the 16 personality types.

Metaphors for personality:

Over the years, the personality has served as a metaphor and also, a lot of metaphors for personality have also been used to describe the personality types. Some theorists also argue that metaphors are not just a figure of speech but they also give shape to a person’s thoughts and can tell a lot about him/her.

Do you use metaphors a lot? Do you know your personality type? If you were to describe someone or something using just metaphors, how would you do it? 

What are metaphors?

A metaphor is a figure of speech used to describe/compare something in a way that the action is described and understood clearly yet isn’t literally true. In literature, while trying to prove a point, the writer might use an expression  “At that moment, for the first time I realized that for her, it was all a game of chess and I was merely a pawn in it.” 

Rules for writing metaphors :

  • In a metaphor, a direct comparison is made.
  • Metaphors  are just for the sake of understanding 
  • Metaphors should not be taken into literal sense
  • Metaphors add colour to the language and make it less boring and more fun.

PERSONALITY AND PERSONALITY TYPES:

“Personality is the supreme realization of the innate idiosyncrasy of a living being. It is an act of high courage flung in the face of life, the absolute affirmation of all that constitutes the individual, the most successful adaptation to the universal conditions of existence coupled with the greatest possible freedom for self-determination”

                                                                                     ~ Carl Jung

Carl jung gave the 8 functions of personality and also believed that no one can just be an introvert or an extrovert. There is more to it. Jung believed that there are 4 basic psychological functions which our brain follows -:

  •  Extroversion vs Introversion
  •  Sensation vs intuition
  •  Thinking vs feeling 
  •  Judging vs perceiving

TYPES OF PERSONALITIES AND METAPHORS SUITABLE FOR THEM:

There are 16 personality types as stated in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Based on Jungian theory. They are :

( Keywords: I – Introversion ; E – Extroversion ; S – sensation ; N – iNtution ; T – thinking ; F – feeling ; J – Judging ; P – Perceiving ) 

  • ISTJ (The inspector)
  • INFJ (The counsellor) 
  • INTJ (The mastermind)
  • ENFJ (The giver)
  • ISTP (The craftsman)
  • ESFJ (The provider)
  • INFP (The idealist)
  • ESFP (The performer)
  • ENFP (The champion)
  • ESTP (The doer)
  • ESTJ (The supervisor)
  • ENTJ (The commander)
  • INTP (The thinker/ architect) 
  • ISFJ (The nurturer)
  • ENTP (The visionary)
  • ISFP (The composer) 

To make this article more interesting, while describing the personality types, the metaphors for them would be hidden somewhere in the content and you would have to find them.

ISTJ (The inspector) -:

ISTJ personality types are realists. They are detail oriented, logical, practical, organized, observant, judgemental, subjective and tend to blame others. At times they might get insensitive too. They don’t have a huge group of friends and love to spend alone time or time with their close group of friends. For an ISTJ,Time is money.They can turn into workaholics and won’t stop until their work is complete. They are also very self critical, direct and straightforward. They can be competitive and hide their true feelings. 13% of the world’s population are ISTJ.

INFJ (The Counsellor):

INFJ’s are value driven and seek meaning in everything, specially relationships. These people tend to justify all the actions and seek meaning behind them in order to understand themselves and others better. INFJs are empathetic, super creative and sweet. Their artistic side is equally active and productive. They are passionate and mysterious. Their hearts burn more when they feel more.

INTJ (The Mastermind):

They question everything. INTJs are the masterminds. They are one of the rarest personality types and one of the most capable ones too. INTJs love analyzing! They just cannot help it. Their wit is unlike anyone else’s. They have a thirst for knowledge. They just have to know everything. They are the ones in the I-Know-It-All category and are huge nerds and assume that they are better than anyone else. They are also the lone-wolf and would rather do things alone than with anyone.

ENFJ (The giver)

ENFJs are loyal, fun, sensitive, outgoing and warm. They are the “people person”. They love meeting new people, they love making friends, going out actually energizes them. They love everyone and everyone loves them. They can also be manipulative and can exert influence on others, but taking into consideration that they have the best interest at heart, with a strong moral based value system backing them. At times, they spend so much time caring for others and looking after others needs, that they forget about themselves. At times, they turn into rays of sunshine falling on the plants that need them. 

ISTP (The Craftsman):

They are the craftsmen. Super creative and hard working. They are solution oriented and more logical. ISTPs are independent and really attached to technology. They get bored with theories and want to put all their theoretical knowledge into some serious practical work. Just like the other introverted personalities, they love their personal space. They are good at keeping a cool head and have a good coping mechanism.

ESFJ (The Provider):

They value tradition and are extremely loyal. For an ESFJ, their priority is their family and friends. They are considerate and emotional. These people are sensitive and warm, but they are also rigid. If they believe in something and set their mind on something, it is set in stone for them. They also try to maintain harmony and keep everyone together.

INFP (The Idealist):

They don’t talk about themselves. They believe in making the world a better place. They like to focus on the bigger picture and look at the interesting details and often tend to overlook the boring details. They also take their sweet time while making important decisions. They can sometimes get over sensitive and over idealistic. If you know an INFP, you would know that they always try to find a soul, even in stones.

ESFP (The Performer):

The best thing about an ESFP personality type is that THEY. LOVE. PEOPLE. They are fun loving and full of life. For them, life is a rollercoaster ride that they never want to end. They are realistic, practical, observant and full of love for materialistic needs. They crave comfort. They are warm and have a lot of friends. They are more of a “live-in-the-moment” kind of person. Even though they just and absolutely love being in the spotlight, they also believe in living a simple life but are impulsive with their actions and become bored very easily.

ENFP (The Champion):

They are not just champions, they are the champions. They just have to win. They are charismatic, adaptable, insightful and always think outside the box. If you want to identify an ENFP in the crowd, find the most charming independent person with a charismatic personality. An ENFP is not afraid to voice out his opinions and can make a person make a run for their money in a blink. They are dominant in nature and they don’t take it well when somebody tries to dominate them, but they can be really considerate and empathetic at times.

ESTP (The Doer):

ESTP lives in the moment. They are outgoing and believe in the practical aspects of life. Spotting an ESTP is an easy thing to do, all you need to look at is who is the leader of the group. They focus on the facts and the details rather than the ideas and concepts. Got an idea? Put it in a practical thing with the facts and BAM! You just impressed and ESTP. They believe in doing rather than thinking, they shoot for the stars rather than just aiming at them. They also believe in taking risks and can be insensitive and impatient. At times they might also just miss the bigger picture while focusing on the details!

ESTJ (The Supervisor):

ESTJs are great supervisors/managers and like everything in a certain order. They have a system and absolutely detest when people try to intervene with it. They like to hold up their image as the ideal/model citizens and they genuinely like to help others and do good for the society. They are full of determination, honest, loyal and reliable, but they might look at you with those judgy eyes of theirs. They believe in the traditional methods of living, and can be rigid at times and just cannot sit back and relax. They would have an opinion on everything but also might find it difficult to express their feelings. They always want the chain of command in their hands.

INTP (The Thinker):

INTP personality types are introverts but that doesn’t stop them from being analytical and quiet. They are great thinkers and analyze each and everything thoroughly instead of just diving in. Spending time alone energizes them. They hate stupid conversations and always try to find the logical meaning behind the mysteries of the universe. They are non believers,i.e. they do not believe that there is an ultimate source (God) that operates the universe. If you want to impress them, talk about science and technology. They love it.

ISFJ (The Nurturer):

One thing about ISFJ is that they are really caring. They try to remember every small detail of their loved ones to make them feel special. They are imaginative and enthusiasts, kind and loyal. INFJs are practical and down to earth too, but at times can get too shy and naive. ISFJs can be really stubborn at times too, and do not accept change well. They might turn into workaholics at times, burying themselves with work, forgetting what time, date or day it is. At the end, they want what is best for everyone and ethically right.

ENTP (The Visionary):

ENTPs don’t play by the rules, they smash them, create new ones, smash them again, and don’t care about the rules. ENTP personality types are clever, witty, and have an answer for everything. They have a tendency to make sure that things go their way. They are cunning and smart and observant too. They are resourceful, outgoing, loyal and flexible too. ENTPs love a good debate, and chances are, they would beat you to it in a heartbeat. They go for the details instead of the big picture though and while debating, they might get a bit too intense. They have a low tolerance for people but are also social. They don’t just take risks, they make a house of risks, and live in it. And careful, they also love arguing!

ISFP (The Composer):

The ISFP personality type has a simple formula, live and let live. Spot an ISFP by finding the most easy going yet introverted person in the group who is not judgy. These people are sensitive, considerate and shy. They are the silent spectators who do not appreciate the limelight. They like their alone time and get energized by it, social gatherings just drain them out. They keep their options open and are open to changes, in fact they appreciate changes. They love experimenting and are not afraid to try new things. Though they can be impulsive at times and extremely sensitive. They need someone to boost their self esteem and self confidence as it keeps wavering and this also causes them to lose interest easily.

CONCLUSIONS:

Metaphors for personalities are being used since forever. Even every personality type from the Myers-Briggs type indicator is a metaphor in itself. For someone who loves psychology and loves reading about personalities would also read people and think of them in a very metamorphic sense, relating everything to literature. In psychology too, whether while reading or watching a series, metaphors are what helps identifying a character’s personality type. This identification process is not just limited to literature, but also real life.

( Hope everyone found the hidden metaphors in the 16 personality types )

FAQs

Why do we use metaphors?

We use metaphors because they give more power to what we are trying to say. They make a conversation look more interesting.and it is a way of comparing things and comparison, even psychologically make things more easier to understand. Metaphors are also a sign of powerful imagination the stronger the metaphor the more impactful the conversation is.

What is the difference between a metaphor and a simile? 

a metaphor is a direct comparison made where one is saying that something is something else, where as a simile is an indirect comparison where one does not just say that something is something else, but just compares it with something else by using like in the statement. Eg of a simile can be Her dress was flowing like a breeze. 

References :

  • http://www.ablongman.com/html/psychplace_acts/graphology/meaning.html
  • https://www.pinterest.com/pin/273593746098776092/
  • https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-social-thinker/201711/why-metaphors-are-important
  • https://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1090/2387
  • https://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/11675/volumes/e03/E-03
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