Body Language & Personality Types

Barack and Michelle Obama, what do their visual signals mean?

Take for example Barack and Michelle Obama. Can you learn something about them by studying their body language? We have a gallery that lists popular celebrity figures by their type and their subtype. Does each personality type have an unique visual expression? To explore this matter, we need to first have a basic way of understanding each cognitive function. This article is about how you can read another persons type based on their body language.

Core visual signals

If you want to learn more about the cognitive functions, consider these keywords. They give a grasp of how people with these functions tend to come off and how they tend to engage in them.

IN: Musing, philosophical

Or distanced, preoccupied

Philosophers always seem like they are caught up thinking about something. If you’re often wondering what’s on a certain persons mind, that person might just be an INXX type.

NJ: Speculative, scheming

Or obsessive, conspiring

Speculators always seem like they’ve got a hidden plan or scheme they are trying to execute. If you’re wondering where someone is going, you might be dealing with an XNXJ type. Sometimes accused of “hiding something”.

EN: Interpretative, fantasizing

Or crazy, delirious

ENs often seem like they are dreaming awake – taking in what you are saying, but with a dreamy look in their eyes. They may seem like they are in Alice In Wonderland rather than in the real world.

NP: Curious, creative

Or naive, fickle

These types often seem open to anything, and curious about everything. They tend to be full of questions and multi-ended. Their eyes can strike you as if they were dancing, jumping from thing to thing, and watching from different angles, considering all options.

ES: Attentive, concentrated

Or hungry, greedy

The Scouts (ESXX) look like they are listening actively to you, and that you have their full, undivided attention.

SP: Prepared, responsive

Or restless

XSXPs tend to always seem prepared for anything. They seem quick to respond and move with new information.

IS: Watchful, studious

Or nitpicky, boring

The Instructors always seem to pay high attention to detail. They listen with watchful eyes, seemingly studying every detail of what you say.

SJ: Reliable

Or guarded, policing

The SJs seem reliable and trustworthy, like they will do exactly what they said they would.

IF: Intense

Or moody, self-absorbed

The artists may strike you as sensitive, intense, and emotionally deep. They may not show much emotion on the surface, but you can tell that something is troubling them.

FJ: Caring

Or manipulative

The FJs may seem friendly and sociable, trustworthy, and good-intentioned. They tend to appear well-meaning and like you can trust them, no matter what their next move is.

EF: Warm

Or emotional, biased

The actors seem expressive, warm, and affectionate. They seem full of emotions and high on feelings.

FP: Concerned

Or worried, overprotective

The Feeling Perceivers seem like they are concerned or worried about you. They have an expression which invites you to speak and share.

IT: Knowledgeable

Or critical, narrow minded

The scientists seem knowledgeable and skilled. They appear well-informed like experts within their field.

TJ: Thorough, rigorous

Or bossy, demanding

The architects seem organized and thorough, like they always have the situation under control.

ET: Strength

Or cocky, intimidating

The pragmatists seem objective and realistic. They seem strong and sometimes intimidating.

TP: Capable

Or arrogant

The hackers appear like they always have a response or comeback to anything you say or do. They appear capable of anything.

The face can be divided into eight muscle regions, all associated with different functions.

Outer eyes (ES, EN)

Inner eyes and eyelids (IN, IS)

Upper nose / between eyes (NJ, SJ)

Upper cheeks (SP, NP)

Upper lips (FJ, TJ)

Outer cheeks (EF, ET)

Mid-lower jaw (IF, IT)

Outer jaw (FP, TP)

Forehead and brows

The ES and the EN types tend to show more activation of the outer eyes and the brows, making their eyes appear more open. The ES types are associated with a tensing of the brows, where the EN types are associated with a relaxing of the brows and outer eyes. This boosts concentration and attentiveness, and makes ESXX types seem more concentrated. The relaxed EN eyes also create a tendency towards so called “dancing”, interpretative ENXX eyes. ENXX types can look like they are easily distracted listeners at times.

Inner eyes and eyelids

The IN types are associated with a relaxing of the eyelids, as if they are, while their eyes are still open, not really “present”. The IN types can appear distanced and as if they are musing or thinking about something. The IS types on the other hand, have more watchful, tense eyelids, as if they are listening carefully to what you say, checking for inconsistencies, and to remember accurately. Both IN and IS types show a high activation of muscles around the eyes.

Upper Nose

Activation of the muscles between the eyes make your eyes and your gaze more composed and directed, and goal-oriented. NJs and SJs have a higher activation of these muscles, and look like they are looking for something in particular. SJs have a more guarded, tense activation of these muscles, where NJs have a more even, relaxed activation of these muscles. NJs tend to appear more speculative, or like they have a hidden agenda or plan.

Upper Cheeks 

SPs and NPs show a higher activation of the outer muscles below the eyes and above the cheeks. This makes them look more adaptable and flexible, and more open to different options. The SPs show the most tense and concentrated activation of these muscles, and they appear more like they are ready for a certain event in particular, like an approaching tennis ball. NPs have a more relaxed activation of these muscles, making them appear curious and open-minded.

Lower Nose

High activation of the cheek muscles around the nose region indicates that you are dealing with a FJ or TJ type. TJs have a tense activation of these muscles, making them seem like they are bracing themselves for something, or frowning. TJs also show rigor and seem more organized or “ready for work.”. FJs on the other hand, with their more relaxed, rounded activation of these muscles come across as more caring and thoughtful. They seem more friendly and relaxed and personal.

Outer Cheeks

The outer cheeks are associated with EF and ET types. With their high, and calm activation of the outer cheek muscles, EFs seem warm and affectionate and expressive. They speak with their whole face, where IFs and ITs have more concentrated facial expressions. ETs differ from EFs in that their activation is more tense, like an athlete, ready to move and to fight and to deal with whatever comes.

Lower jaw

The IFs and the ITs rely a lot on their mouth to show their feelings about different matters. This can make them seem more sensitive, intense, or critical. The ITs tense activation of these expressions make them seem more critical of what they hear, while the IFs seem more invested and sensitive to the message in itself.

Outer jaw

TPs and FPs show a high activation of the outer jaw muscles. The TPs are often described more negatively as cocky or arrogant, but more positively as capable and ready for anything. They strike themselves out as people that can solve any problem that comes up. FPs have a more relaxed activation of these muscles, and seem more like they are processing what they just heard. They also seem like they “want to hear you say more” – FPs invite others to speak, and seem like they care about what is being said.

The four temperaments

The Leaders (IXXJ)

Leaders appear to have a high activation of the inner, mid parts of their face. Their use of the brows make them seem like they know what they are looking at and what they are interested in, and the squint makes them seem thoughtful. The lack of use of their outer jaws and cheek muscles can make them seem less expressive. They look like they give high regard to what they say. Their use of the lower jaws make them seem like they carefully process what they say before they talk.

The Executives (EXXJ)


The Advisors (IXXP)

The Explorers (EXXP)

In the next part, we will discuss common hand gestures and how they tie into personality type.