I am a fan of Otto Kroeger and Associates and CEO Hile Rutledge. This organization has an approach that is respectful of people as individuals and the integrity of the Myers Briggs (MBTI). Their materials are first rate and from all that I have seen and heard they are dedicated to learning and expanding their approaches.

Even though Hile Rutledge generously allowed me to use their type descriptions in my book Inner Landscapes II, for some reason I hadn’t subscribed to their newsletter until now. Here is a seasonal gem from their December newsletter that I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.

What Type is Santa Claus? by
Hile Rutledge
An OKA graduate once asked us what might be Santa Claus’ type. Here is the response…

Dear Nancy,
I must admit this is the first time I’ve gotten the Santa question, but it seems an
obvious thing to ponder. As with all Typewatching speculations, it is important
to note that such hypotheses say more about the guesser than they do the
subject being considered. Often, there is much “type pondering” about
prominent figures – we hear many political leaders, for example, described as
every type because they are the object of projection from those around th
we project that much onto our leaders – real people in the news each day, imagine what we as
collective do to Santa Claus! All this is offered as a disclaimer and a backdrop urging you to
take what I next say – and the type projections of anyone you ask – with a pound of salt.

Santa Claus’ Type Preference
Picturing the late 20th century, pop culture, largely marketing driven image of Santa that is most
prevalent today, these would be the preferences I see:
Temperament of Santa – I can see the argument for NF. Santa is a poster child for personable
and touchy-feely, right? But I would argue Santa is an SJ. Look at this man’s project
management skills. Toys for everyone in the world delivered all in one night – on time and under
budget? Come on, only an SJ could pull that one off. Besides he makes list and checks it
twice. NFJs may make the list, but check it twice? Never. Santa’s an SJ.

E – Most of the shows and images we see of Santa show a gregarious and expressive man,
frequently in the company of others. Can you imagine the network that that man must have?
No Introvert would have such a thing unless he lived in total stress – and that jolly old elf
certainly has a stress-free life 51 weeks out of the year.

F – Santa has to be a Feeling decider. Don’t be fooled by the naughty and nice list. That is not
an objective, logical decision process. Fs can and do make the naughty or nice conclusion. But
really, have you ever seen data that suggest that anyone has ever made it to the naughty
list? There were many years that I deserved switches and coal, but I got the G.I. Joe with the
Kung Fu Grip instead. Santa has shown more mercy than justice in my view. Santa is an F – a
dominant Extraverted F, in fact.

I would argue that Santa is an ESFJ, which we refer to as Host/Hostess of the World–also
known as the ambassadors of the world. How perfect for Father Christmas.

Hile Rutledge
Chief Executive Officer
OKA (Otto Kroeger Associates) | http://www.typetalk.com | Ph: (703) 591-6284

Category: Perspectives
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4 Responses to “What MBTI Type is Santa? – An Educated Guess”

Mike Shur December 21, 2009

Well, not to be too too Devil’s advocate about all this but. . .

Santa is pretty clearly and INFP!

“INFPs never seem to lose their sense of wonder. One might say they see life through rose-colored glasses. It’s as though they live at the edge of a looking-glass world where mundane objects come to life, where flora and fauna take on near-human qualities.” From: http://typelogic.com/infp.html

Santa dreamed a big dream: that every child in the world get a present on Christmas! What a big vision!

And his own personal code is reflected in their vision: presents to all, except the naughty, those who have violated his values. Note, we don’t really know what “naughty” or “nice” are, or what the vision is exactly, classical introverted communication preferences.

Why a Perceiving preference? Well, his inner vision dominates what he does, dominant introverted Intuition. His values are his support system, auxiliary extroverted Feeling. Some may say he’s a planner, but he doesn’t do any research during the year, he waits for the kids’ requests to pile in at the end of the year and then whips his SJ elves into a frenzy fulfilling their requests.

And the Introvert? Well, besides his introverted vision and supporting values, here’s a guy who only comes out one night a year, is seen by no one, and spends the rest of the time secluded with Mrs. Claus and his ancient and well-known elves. Does it get more introverted than that?! LOL

So that’s my best guess. . .I await your rebuttals. :-)

Sandy McMullen December 21, 2009

Oh Mike – Brilliant – It sounds like you have Santa’s ear. It may take me a while to come up with something clever to add. You certainly have given me things to ponder!!!

tim June 5, 2010

He’s definetly an I. he may be a people person but he doesn’t like talking when delivering presents. He’ll try to run in chuck down the presents and get out! I think he’s definetly an I. But the others are true.

Sandy McMullen June 6, 2010

Hi Tim
Thanks for wading in on the question of Santa – I definitely see the NFP. If you think about all of those endless lines of children that sit on his lap, he is either using an army of stand-ins or he might be E o last so long without tiring. BTW Does your email address indicate an I preference?