Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Idealists: Intuitive-Feeling

The Idealist core needs include identity, self-actualization, meaningfulness, and significance. Idealists look to the future, focusing on what might be. They engage in activities because they are meaningful rather than because they are routine, mandatory, efficient, or entertaining. They search for identity and meaning in life. They want to experience life but want the experiences to have meaning beyond the mere event. They tend to romanticize their experiences, their lives, and the lives of others. They want to know how the world works in personal, spiritual terms. They seek to grow and reach their own potential.

Living a life of significant and making a difference in the world is the way Idealists achieve their unique identity. Idealists want their significance appreciated or at least recognized. Integrity is important to the Idealist. They focus on human potential, ethics, culture, quality of life and personal growth. At their best they are empathic, caring, warm, and seek harmony.

Idealists are supporters for the people and ideas they care about. They are extremely insightful into others, having an ability to reflect and anticipate unspoken issues and intentions of others. They are good at seeing the possibilities in others and helping them draw out their potential. They are effective communicators and inspire others, sharing in participatory leadership and empowering and facilitating growth in those whom they work with.

Idealists strive to unify by understanding and resolving deeper issues. They are naturals at building bridges between people and can see how two different views are alike. They often communicate with symbols and metaphors. Idealists are seen as creative because they like to express their unique identity. They tend to take criticism very personally.

Idealists do best in environments that convey positive regard, recognize their uniqueness, and provide validation, interaction, receptivity, and support. A confrontive, argumentative or competitive atmosphere offends them.

Idealists operate out of their values and intuitive perceptions and can be surprised when others lack awareness of the deep issues below the surface. Because he needs work that matters to him and to others, the Idealist might have difficulty placing limits on the amount of time and energy he devotes to his work. This type works toward a vision of perfection. And once the vision and work is completed, it sometimes just doesn't seem to live up to expectations.

Idealists in the Classroom

Idealist students enjoy learning about ideas and values. They like lectures about real people who were able to solve their own problems. They like to write essays because they can add their own views and thoughts. Idealists are often able to see things from multiple perspectives. They often can see so many sides to a question that they might find true/false and multiple-choice questions difficult. Essays provide them with more of an opportunity to demonstrate the varying side they see and know.

Idealists often enjoy reading, especially work that focuses on people. They usually prefer books that allow them to fantasize; yet biographies are also appealing as they show how other people view the meaning of life. Fantasies, mysteries, and science fiction are popular with this type.

They prefer learning about what could be rather than what is. Creativity is a part of life for Idealists. They have a tendency towards daydreaming. They tend to speak in globalistic terms, often using similes and metaphors both in their speech and writing. Lessons that do not focus on insightful or imaginative topics often fail to hold the Idealist's attention.

Idealists prefer to work with words and need and want to be directly or indirectly in communication with people. Competitive games may be difficult for them, as they generally prefer to compete with themselves instead of others. They would rather see their classmates work together. Group discussions, role-playing, dramatics and small group projects help the Idealist learn in a friendly and personal atmosphere.

Idealists help all members of the group get what they need from the process and work hard to protect other's feelings. They are very focused on others, sometimes to the point where it detracts them from learning the material. They will suffer in an atmosphere with too much criticism from their peer students and/or teachers. Idealist students desire and appreciate praise from their teachers. They find large lecture halls impersonal and stifling. They prefer small classroom environments where the teacher and students know each other by names.

Tips for Idealist Students

  1. Get to know your instructors. Visit them during office hours and/or speak to them briefly after class.
  2. Make an effort to meet your fellow classmates and make friends. Discuss class concepts, ideas and meanings with them.
  3. Study in groups; take turns explaining the material to each other. However, don't spend all your study time in groups. Independent study is also important for you.
  4. In subjects that have little appeal to you, look for the meaning and significance in the topics. Use your imagination - how can you add your own creativity to make the topic more interesting? Discuss the meaning with your instructors and fellow classmates.
  5. With subjects that don't directly concern people, look for the human element. Ask yourself questions like, "How does this topic affect people? What meaning could it have in my life, and other peoples lives? How do these concepts relate to my personal experiences?"
  6. If the relevance of a subject to the future is not apparent, ask your instructor for his/her views on this.
  7. If you are bored with material that involves repetition, look for connections between theories and facts.
  8. Avoid spending too much time reading true/false and multiple choice questions. Read them carefully once. Spending too much time will likely confuse you, as you might tend to look at all sides.


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