Type’s Surprising Role in Resilience

The connections to resilience and emotional intelligence were immediate and strong. The EQ-i presents itself as an ideal—almost obvious—entry point to understanding, assessing and building resilience. Type, however, and the MBTI assessment are not as clear a set of resilience access tools as the casual Type user might at first think.

Type points to hard-wired cognitive preferences for taking in data (perceiving) and making decisions (judging), and these realities—while they tell us a lot—don’t shed all that much light on our tendencies toward bouncing back after disappointment and set-back. It turns out that each Type has habits and preferences that contribute (and diminish) our individual abilities toward resilience. There are a few small Type connections to resilience, and they may surprise you.


We know that resilient people most often have a network of personal relationships outside of their families to offer connection and support. Actively building and nurturing such a network is behavior Extraverts engage in much more frequently and consistently than do Introverts.


Resilient people have goals that drive them forward and groups or systems (teams, families or communities) which they serve and work to support. While people often assume that Judgers strive more often or effectively toward goals, data do not support that. It is true that there is a small connection between a preference for Feeling and the kind of Social Responsibility behaviors that align someone with a social group and an active social consciousness.


Two of the most critical components of resilience are Self-Regard and Optimism—self-esteem and the confidence that future will hold or allow for a positive outcome. Type data are clear that no Type or set of preferences is more linked to these qualities than any other. The most important factor in resilience, therefore, is Type-neutral.

As a long-time Type user and devotee, these research data encourage me. While I have long loved to use the MBTI to support self-awareness training, I have moved deliberately away from any application that would frame some Types as more successful or advantaged than others. I like to see Type as the great leveler, and these resilience data support that.

Having and developing resilience in the face of life’s mounting stressors is challenging, but no more so for any one Type than another. 

resilience flower in desert

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