The Ways in Which Each Myers-Briggs Type Responds To Authority
Some people have a strong respect for authority, while others have a more rebellious nature. Here is how we believe each personality type responds to authority.
INFJs do not have an outright problem with authority figures, simply the lack of respect they often give. INFJs respect others and often expect that same respect in return. Having someone neglect the fact that they are a human being with opinions and independent though, will frustrate the INFJ greatly. If they have an authority figure who is unjust and treats others poorly, the INFJ will become very angry. They will not stand for someone like this and may even attempt to find ways to expose this person. They want things to be fair and when someone is taking charge without fairness the INFJ will not appreciate that at all. If they are in a situation where the person in a place of authority is fair and treats others with respect the INFJ will be respectful towards their position. They dislike being forced to do something, but have an immense amount of tact and understanding in the appropriate situations.
ENFJs do not outwardly challenge authority, but they are willing to question it. They are often too caught up in their busy lives and tending to others needs to truly become frustrated with authority figures. They will become angry if authority is challenging them and trying to disrespect their ideals. ENFJs are strong-willed and capable of taking someone down if need be. They want to achieve harmony and will attempt to avoid a power struggle if they can do so. They mostly want to make others happy, but if someone in authority is being cruel to others the ENFJ might feel the need to step in. Authority in itself is not a threat to the ENFJ, but specific instances may require a call to action.
INFPs dislike being forced to do something, or being expected to fit into a mold. They want to be free to make their own choices in life and follow their own path. They have a respect for intelligent individuals who are in a place of authority and are willing to listen to them within reason. They are not sheep who will blindly follow, but are good at fairly discerning who is trustworthy. They want to make their own life choices and expect to be given that freedom. They will have a strong problem with an unjust authority figure taking control of others. They want things to be right and fair and will become outraged if they see that things are not that way. Someone attempting to tell lies to others and attempting to control or manipulate the masses, is very upsetting to an INFP.
ENFPs often have a rebellious and self-reliant nature and because of this may struggle with authority. ENFPs will often search for a way around the rules set in front of them, and are fairly good at doing so. They do not want to be held back or forced into submission by others. ENFPs enjoy being able to explore all of the possibilities, and authority may attempt to stand in the way of that. ENFPs enjoy exploration and freedom and often do not have time to be bothered with authority. They do become frustrated if authority is attempting to harm or keep others down. When this occurs they may attempt to expose the authority for their wrongdoings. ENFPs are enthusiastic and exciting individuals, who just want to be free to live their lives in an inspirational way.
INTJs natural desire to challenge authority comes from their inherent need to question everything. They want to learn and understand the truth about everything, and dislike blindly following others. INTJs want to get to the bottom of the situation and gather all the facts that they can before making a fully educated decision. They will become displeased with rules that seem ridiculous or biased, and will often challenge those rules. They often believe in the purpose of rules, but wish for those rules to be reasonable and intelligently designed. They dislike people who are ignorant attempting to lead or control others, and will become very frustrated with such an authority figure.
ENTJs often search to become the authority figure, rather than outright challenge it. They dislike blindly following others, especially since authority may often be foolish or ignorant. They believe that if someone is in a place of leadership they should know fully what they are doing and be open-minded and respectful of their subordinates. ENTJs challenge authority in a well-designed and strategic manner. They are natural leaders and because of this may become easily frustrated with authority figures. They often see how things could be done better and desire to implement those strategies themselves. ENTJs respect the idea of authority, but often do not respect the figures in place, unless those figures seem a good fit.
INTPs often have an indifferent stance on authority. If the rules that are in place make sense and are logically devised, the INTP has no problem following them. If those rules are ridiculous the INTP will often find a way around them. They often dislike being told what to do, and will do their best to avoid authority. They want to be left to their own devices to be allowed to make their own decisions. INTPs are respectful individuals and often will be willing to go along with situations as long as they agree with them. They spend a large amount of their time inside their own minds, and have come to many logical conclusions about how they think things should be run. They are often used to feeling like things could be done better, and are sometimes capable of letting go of those frustrations. INTPs often are skilled at finding ways to adapt and are good at working around the things that frustrate them.
ENTPs often struggle very much with authority and are skilled at finding ways around the rules. If they do not believe in following the rules set out for them, they often will not do so. They do not want to be told what to do, and enjoy following their own path. When someone attempts to control the ENTP they may become rebellious and headstrong. They are natural debaters, and enjoy being able to challenge authority. They do not stand for someone who is pushing others around and does not seem to know what they are doing. The ENTP wants to be able to be challenged and because of that will not be hesitant to challenge others. They may sometimes attempt to get close to authority as a way to manipulate them so that they can be the one in control of the situation.
ISTJs have a natural respect for authority and fulfilling their duties. They believe that everyone should fit into their place in society, and that sense of community is very important for the ISTJ. They understand that rules are put in place for a reason, and often believe that those rules should be followed. They do not always agree with the rules in place, but do not see any use in disobeying them. ISTJs believe that to get something done you must follow the guidelines set out for you. Rules are something that should be respected and authority should as well.
ESTJs often believe in following rules, but may bump heads with authority. They feel most comfortable in a position of authority themselves and may work to take the position above them. They are skilled at making others like them, and are often good at climbing the social ladder. They believe in creating an important place in society and do often follow the rules and guidelines set out for them. They are willing to work to climb to a position of authority, but often are happiest when they achieve this goal.
ISFJs have a respect for authority, but this often depends on how they were raised. ISFJs are a product of their environment, and strive to create harmony. Following authority and abiding by the rules is often the best way achieve this sense of harmony and peace. They do not mind authority figures and are very good at taking orders and accomplishing what is required. ISFJs may become unhappy with authority figures who are cruel or mean to others below them. They dislike someone acting like they are better than others and will become angry at authority that tries to push others down. They may attempt to expose authority that is harmful, but will probably do it in a very subtle way.
ESFJs opinion of authority often depends on the people around them. They are mainly focused on making their loved ones happy, and if authority stands in the way of this, they will become rebellious. They naturally do not have a dislike for authority and are willing to follow the rules. They have a strong work ethic and believe in doing what is demanded of you by authority. They may struggle if this authority is harsh or cruel to others, and they may lash out because of it. They are not afraid of challenging authority if need be and are often good at turning others against someone. Ultimately the ESFJ enjoys harmony, and will seek to maintain that first and foremost.
ISTPs often do not care for authority, but also do not care to outright challenge them. ISTPs are willing to follow the rules that they agree with, but often do not agree with the rules. Because of this ISTPs tend to march to the beat of their own drum, and choose to do what they wish in life. This may get them into trouble with authority if they do not play out the situations the right way. They are good at getting out of whatever trouble that they get themselves into, so fear often does not hold them back.
ESTPS often have little care for authority. They want to make their own way in life and dislike being told what they can or cannot do. They enjoy their freedom to explore exciting new avenues in life. ESTPs often choose to make their own decisions regardless of the rules they are supposed to follow. They are often good at getting themselves out of whatever mess they fall into. They are charismatic and because of this often have a way of convincing authority of whatever they want.
ISFPs have a very live and let live idea of life. They want to have the freedom to make their own decisions and dislike when authority attempts to dictate their decisions for them. They especially dislike when authority is cruel or aggressive towards others, and may become very upset with this. They have a distaste for the hunger for power that many authority figures possess, and wish for people in power who have a more caring nature. If they believe that the rules seem sensible than the ISFP does not mind following them, otherwise they probably will avoid authority all-together.
ESFPs enjoy being able to do their own thing and just have fun. Authority might prevent them from doing this and this may frustrate the ESFP. They often have a respect for authority though, and understand that rules are important. Even if they break these rules it is often only because they enjoy living in the moment and dislike being controlled. They care to do the right thing, but the fun thing often overlaps that.