How to tell what personality type someone is

How to Guess Someone’s Personality Type by the Way they Speak

02 November 2022 / By Elizabeth Harris Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on September 10, 2022

Categories: Myers Briggs, Communication & Conflict, INFJ, ENFJ, INTJ, INTP, ENTJ, ESTP, ESFP, ESFJ

When we talk, we give clues about ourselves. From the way we speak to how long we hold eye contact for, we all drop hints and clues about our personality type every time we open our mouths. 

While personality type is very individualized, there are some patterns that can tell you about someone’s personality type from the way they speak. You probably won’t get a detailed reading of someone just by talking to them for a short time, but you can get a pretty good idea of some key character traits that dominate their personality.

Here are 6 clues to help you guess someone’s personality type from the way they speak and what to watch out for next time you meet someone new.

1. Opening up a conversation

The first clue to guess someone’s personality type from the way they speak is to see if they take the initiative and open up a conversation or if they let you take the lead. 

When you’re talking to a complete stranger, you can get a pretty good idea of whether someone is extraverted or introverted from their willingness to dive into a new conversation with you. While it’s a very simplified measure, Extraverts tend to be the ones who will strike up a conversation with a total stranger while Introverts prefer to stick with people they know.

To guess someone’s personality type from the way they speak, start by analyzing that very first interaction with them and see how comfortably they launch into a new conversation with you. If they’re like a duck to water, they’re probably an Extravert.

2. Getting deeper

When someone is speaking, their personality type can show up in how they say things, as well as what they choose to talk about and how they respond to your attempts to steer the conversation.

Some personality types will try to swerve past certain subject matter, like INTPs who usually avoid talking about intangible things like emotions and feelings at all costs. On the flip side, Intuitive Feeling personality types like ENFJs and INFJs tend to dig deeper in all conversations, quickly and deliberately moving the conversation past small talk and into more meaningful topics. INTJs and ENTJs also prefer more complex conversations and they particularly enjoy delving into new theories, ideas and debates.

If you can pay attention to where your conversation leads and what topics appear as you talk, you can get a clearer picture of someone’s personality type from the way they speak.

3. Sharing personal details

If you really want to guess someone’s personality type, you need to ask them questions too! When you’re having a conversation, try to find out more about the person you’re speaking to so you can get a better sense of their dominant personality traits.

If you can find out their interests, passions and experiences, you can pick up on some clues about that person. For example, thrill-seekers like ESTPs will love to share stories about their latest adventure, while ESFJs will demonstrate their strong emotional intelligence and radiate warmth and empathy in your conversation. They might talk about their most recent volunteering or prefer to engage about a social or community issue that means a lot to them.

By asking someone personal questions and listening to their answers, you can get a sense of what parts of their lives matter most to them and where their priorities lie.

4. Reading body language

When you meet someone for the first time, you can also read a lot about them from their body language. In fact, you pick up on a huge range of signs and signals from body language without even realizing it.

Some body language clues to look out for include:

  • Facial expressions like smiling, frowning and nodding
  • Hand movements like gesticulating, fidgeting and pointing
  • Posture line leaning forward, sitting or standing up straight, hunching, and tilting their head

These movements and gestures can all give you a sense of someone’s personality, including their level of self-confidence, interest, enthusiasm and responsiveness. Keep track of body language as well as speech to get a clearer picture of someone’s personality type from the way they speak.

5. Keeping eye contact

Eye contact is another strong non-verbal cue that can tell you a lot about someone’s personality type just from one conversation.

When you’re talking to someone, take a note of their eye contact. Do they look you in the eye when they’re talking to you? Do they look interested and engaged? Or do they look down or away and avoid eye contact? 

Again, there are no established rules that tie eye contact to personality type but as a general rule, more charismatic and self-confident personality types will usually be the best at maintaining eye contact and bringing a relaxed feeling to your conversations. 

6. Judging their attention span

If there’s one way to tell someone’s personality when you’re speaking to them, it’s through their attention span. You can easily separate people into two categories: those who listen and those who don’t.  

When someone is speaking to you, pay attention to how they behave in a bigger group. If you’re at a party or big social gathering, how do they react to the people around you? How invested are they in your conversation?

For example, highly sociable personality types like ESFPs are fun-loving and talkative and they always want to be at the center of the action. When you’re in a one-to-one conversation with them, you might notice them getting fidgety if they think they’re missing out on the fun elsewhere. These are the types of conversationalists who love chatting as part of a big group and will probably encourage you to join in with others rather than chatting intensely in a corner somewhere.

Can you guess someone’s personality type from the way they speak?

While it’s very hard to definitively guess someone’s personality type just by having a conversation with them, there are some clues you can use to help you judge personality types of different people. From small quirks like a person’s body language, conversation skills and willingness to open up to you, you can quickly get a sense of the personality type of your conversation partner.

These 6 clues are all ways to tell where someone falls on the personality type spectrum, but to find out for sure you’ll have to ask them - a good excuse for another chat!

How to Determine Other People's Personality Type

Understanding the personality of other people is extremely useful in establishing effective relationships with others. This page explains how to identify other people’s personality.

The notion of personality type was introduced by the famous psychologist Carl G. Jung. According to Carl G. Jung, people can be characterized by two dimensions, each represented by two opposites:

  • Sensing vs. Intuition (S-N)
  • Thinking vs. Feeling (T-F)

This produces 4 possible personality groups, each having distinct personality characteristics, marked as ST, NT, SF and NF:

Sensing vs. Intuition and Thinking vs. Feeling

To determine whether the other person is a sensing (S) or an intuitive (N) type, choose the box containing characteristics that describe the other person most:

S (Sensing)

  • Practical
  • Relies on facts, numbers; specific
  • Present-oriented, concerned about problem in hand

N (iNtuition)

  • Insightful and inspirational
  • Relies on insights, theories, trends of development
  • Future-oriented

To determine whether the other person is a thinking (T) or feeling (F) type, choose the box containing characteristics that describe the other person most:

F (Feeling)

  • Governed by emotional beginning, feelings
  • Shows sympathy, warmth, concern and support to others
  • Makes decisions and solves problems based on "gut feeling", values, "good"/"bad", "like"/"dislike"

A combination of S-N and T-F preference determines personality type group the other person belongs to - either STNT, SF or NF.

What is your personality type? Take the Test!


Extraversion vs. Introversion

An additional dichotomy dimension, Extraversion – Introversion, can be used for a more comprehensive understanding of personality.

According to Carl G. Jung's approach to personality, extraversion is the tendency toward active actions as a dynamic response to the events and information from the external world.  Extraverted people draw the energy for their undertakings from the outside world. The outside world is the main driver of their actions and the main motivational factor. They typically have numerous contacts with others, even if their job does not require it.

Introversion is the tendency to reflect on one's own perceptions, thoughts and feelings. Introverted people draw the energy for their undertakings mainly from their inner world. The inner world is a very significant stimulus for their actions and is a very important motivational factor. They are unlikely to have numerous contacts with others, unless their job requires it.

Since in a workplace both extraverted and introverted people may have numerous contacts, this fact in itself cannot be used to conclude a slant to extraversion. Differentiating characteristics are better observed outside of workplace and in an informal environment. An extravert will energetically participate in conversations and activities. An introvert will try to find a place of solitude where he or she can avoid active contacts and can focus on their own thoughts and things they like.

E (Extravert)

  • Draws energy from outside
  • Responds to and initiates events in the external world
  • Has numerous contacts with others, even if their job does not require it
  • Prefers communicating in a group
  • Doesn’t mind interruptions

Use the table above to identify extraverted vs. introverted personalities in other people.

E-I dimension together with T-F and S-N dimensions in Carl G. Jung typology form 8 possible combinations or groups with distinct behavioural qualities described above: EST, ESF, ENT, ENF, IST, ISF, INT, INF.

Personality types | 16Personalities



Imaginative, strategic thinkers with a plan for all occasions.


Creative inventors, with a strong belief in the power of knowledge.


Brave, resourceful and strong-willed leaders who always find a way - or make a way.


Smart and curious thinkers who never turn down an intellectual challenge.



Quiet and mystical, but inspiring and relentless idealists.


Poetic, kind and altruistic personalities, always ready to stand up for a good cause.


Charismatic and inspiring leaders who captivate their listeners.


Enthusiasts, creative and sociable free minds who always find a reason to smile.



Practical and factual people whose reliability is unshakable.


Very responsible and kind protectors, always ready to protect their loved ones.


Excellent administrators, unsurpassed specialists in process and people management.


Extremely caring, sociable and popular people, always ready to help.



Brave and practical experimenters, masters of all kinds of techniques and tools.


Flexible and charming artists, always ready to explore and experience something new.


Smart, energetic and very receptive people who truly enjoy risk.


Spontaneous, energetic and tireless merry fellows - where they are, it's never boring.

Personality types: main differences and their characteristics

Contents of the article

All people are different: someone likes to lead an active lifestyle and communicate a lot, it is easier for someone not to stand out among others, someone is prone to sensitivity and excessive self-criticism. Since ancient times, scientists and philosophers have been interested in the topic of personality classification, many theories have been developed, some of which have become part of modern psychology. In this article, we will briefly analyze the psychological types that the Soviet scientist A.E. Lichko developed while observing adolescents. It is in adolescence that individual character traits and psychological characteristics are quite strongly manifested, which are smoothed out during growing up, but can manifest themselves at a moment of crisis. Even more types of personality classifications can be found in the free online course "Typology of Personality" on the platform "Russia - a country of opportunities".

Asthenoneurotic type

People with a weak nervous system who are characterized by low stamina, irritability and overwork. They get tired more from psychological stress than from physical exertion. When working for a long time, they need frequent breaks, in general they like to work at their own pace. Such people are hard to switch from one activity to another, it is better not to distract them from the process once again. Any unforeseen situations cause them irritability and anxiety. But these people are very careful and disciplined, they can spend hours doing monotonous work that does not require speed.

Unstable type

Complex personality type, which is characterized by irresponsibility, idleness and addiction, for example, from alcohol, drugs, games. Such people strive for pleasure, they want to constantly relax and have fun. They often have problems with work, they do not want to study and grow professionally. This type of personality can be called a real hedonist who sees entertainment and enjoyment as the main goal of his life. The positive features include openness and sociability.

Conformal type

People who strive to live like everyone else and do not want to stand out from the crowd once again. The opinion of others is very important to them, they try to earn the praise and approval of others. Basically, the way of life of such people directly depends on the society in which they live. If there are religious people around them, then the conformist will be a believer to the point of fanaticism. It is also difficult for them to change something in their lives, it is difficult to pull them out of their comfort zone. Positive features include low conflict, friendliness, devotion and diligence.

Labile type

Empathic people who can feel the mood and feelings of others well. They often make outstanding psychologists and social workers. They are open and always ready to help and support with a kind word. But this type is very sensitive and touchy, does not tolerate criticism in his address, cannot stand loneliness and changes in life.

Cycloid type

People who are prone to drastic mood swings experience strong emotions - either they are overly happy, or they feel sad on the verge of depression. They cope with internal experiences for a long time, they are distinguished by excitability and irritability, sometimes aggressiveness. The positive traits include sociability and friendliness.


People with excessive impressionability, vulnerability and openness. They can get excited about simple things that most people don't notice. They also keep pleasant and unpleasant memories for many years, which flash in memory as if in reality. This type of personality is difficult to tolerate public criticism, is very afraid of being ridiculed. Positive traits include increased morality, compassion and sociability.

Psychasthenic type

People who are prone to introspection and reflection like to delve into themselves and criticize for shortcomings. They have an excellent memory, so they remember their mistakes well and often engage in self-flagellation. Hence, they have a lack of confidence in their abilities, they take too long to make decisions, doubt and are afraid to stumble again. The positive features include loyalty and reliability, they will never betray loved ones and will always stand up for their own.

Schizoid type

Closed and unsociable people who do not know how or do not want to build close relationships with others. But they do a great job of maintaining business relationships. They have a rich inner world, into which they prefer not to let anyone in. Many people have high intelligence and out-of-the-box thinking. But they practically do not know how to recognize other people's emotions.

Epileptoid type

The most complex type of people, prone to breakdowns, aggression and pedantry. They seek to subjugate everyone, to win an authoritarian position. Such people do not know how to build friendly relations at all, they can vent evil on others, they are very scrupulous about the work of employees.

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