Making plans should be simple, right? And maybe in a perfect world, it would be. Be here in real life, schedules are hard to coordinate given that some people prefer to keep their options open and be spontaneous, while others feel most comfortable having a meticulously laid out schedule. Clearly, people have different planning preferences, and some even attach a ton of emotion to plans.
For example, some may see it as disrespectful to break an existing plan or to never make an effort to cultivate one in advance. For others though, advance notice for every little thing can come across as controlling and stuffy. To better understand where you—and those you care about—fall on this continuum of planning preferences, look no further than your Myers-Briggs personality type. Because regardless of what your spontaneity stance and style actually is, it’s something that’s best to know in advance. (Don’t know what your MBTI is? Read this first!)
Here’s your preference for making plans, based on your Myers-Briggs personality type.
ISFJs love to make plans, but they are also pretty flexible when unforeseen events pop up. As long as these last-minute additions and switches are optional, with no pressure to attend, they don’t bother you. What matters most isn’t whether the people you love and trust cancel plans every now and then, but that they have an overall pattern of reliability in your friendship.
Since you tend to keep your schedule pretty packed, you prefer to know in advance about casual get-togethers or if a friend is rolling through town and wants to catch up. You also get irritated when someone cancels or never makes advance plans with you, even if you’d never say so directly. If it becomes a pattern, you’ll simply stop making time for the person.
ISTJs stick to any plans that are made, but they rarely make plans themselves. You’re consistently available to your friends, but you’re also happy deciding, spur of the moment, to meet your sister for dinner. That said, you do hate when people can’t seem to pin down details of a gathering or keep changing plans.
ESTJs stick to their most important plans, like seeing their best friend who’s only in town for a day and getting to work-related events. Otherwise, you prefer making plans that are spontaneous when your schedule permits (which is a rarity). If someone has to cancel, you’re pretty understanding and simply try to reschedule for the soonest possible time. If the canceling becomes a habit, you’ll call out your friend.
ESFPs sort of hate making plans. You like living in the moment and rely on plans only if you’re 100 percent sure you actually want to do it. Being present, both mentally and physically, is important to you, and that’s why you prefer to keep your options open.
ISFPs enjoy plans, and feel like they convey consistency that’s valuable for close friends and family. But, you may break plans frequently. As a type that lives in the moment and follows their impulses, you can sometimes spontaneously take a detour or an adventure and forget your schedule. While this may not bother you, it may bother others—so tread lightly.
ESTPs love spontaneity. Though you make a lot of plans, you ultimately break many of them. You’re flexible and adaptable, and you’ll often jumble your schedule to efficiently execute all tasks and see the maximum number of people. Unfortunately, you don’t realize how much this bothers more regimented personality types.
ISTPs epitomize the art of being chill. They never get ruffled when someone breaks plans. You also don’t make many advance plans yourself, preferring to suggest biking if the weather is just right that morning, or taking a road trip simply when you feel the itch. You’re certainly reliable when there is a plan, but you’re also fine with going with the flow.
You skew spontaneous not because you don’t like to make plans, but because you rarely remember to do so—until the last minute. You’re also prone to getting lost in your own world, and you value time alone to think, work, and experiment. When you’re feeling social, you make spontaneous plans with one of your many friends.
INFPs love making plans…as long as they’re in the mood, in that moment. Spontaneity is really what suits your personality, but you’ll definitely show up to events for and with loved ones. As long as you’re making time for your friends, and they for you, you don’t care if you make plans for the same day or for two weeks from now (but you prefer the former).
ENFJs are one of the most scheduled types, but they are flexible if something pops up. As long as you feel like your time is being respected, you don’t mind if friends cancel last minute because they’re sick or have to tend to family duties. You’re not one to be spontaneous much, though. Because your schedule is always so jammed, you rarely plan last-minute adventures, and even if you’re free, it’s not a compelling option to you. (You prefer to have time to prepare both mentally and physically.)
INFJs meticulously plan for essential things, big and small—like a friend’s wedding or a coffee catchup with your sister. But they prefer to be spontaneous about the rest. You’re known for having a “master plan,” for career and personal goal, and it takes a lot of mental energy for you to be forward-thinking and detail-oriented. So you’d rather fit in other fun activities when you have extra time and additional extroverted energy.
INTJs make plans for important things, and they’re fairly reliable in addition to being flexible. You cancel plans if you feel overextended and enjoy the occasional gathering (that you decide to attend at the very last minute). You do not like surprises, though. If your friend decides to bring three other friends to what was supposed to be a one-on-one dinner, you’ll feel ruffled and very annoyed.
INTPs are introverted and don’t always make plans. But when they do, you want to know every detail in advance to prepare yourself. But once you arrive and start relaxing, you’re usually pulled in new directions. You’re spontaneous about the details in execution so long as long as you’ve already planned to be fully present.
ENTJs are usually the ones to spearhead plans. You don’t have a lot of free time, so you want to maximize the time you have for those you love. You know when your week is going to be slammed, so you make sure to give your significant other your undivided attention the week prior. You know when you’re going out of town for work for a month, so there are two friends you need to see beforehand. You’re a master scheduler, because you have to be.
ENTPs make and change many plans because they’re analytically spontaneous. If you can fit more into your day by shuffling around when you see friends and the timing of your weekend, you’ll try to do it. You’re also fully spontaneous with others, and you love when people suggest a better plan that makes more sense than your current one. A cool band is in town for one night only? Yeah, you can totally hit that restaurant another time! (You’re a planning pragmatist.)