Overview (Introverted Feeling + Sensing)
The Aesthete is a person of deep emotion and an eye for aesthetics. Commonly, they are and consider themselves to be artists or critics in the craft or medium of their preference. Most famous musicians, fashion designers, makeup artists, dancers, models, beauty gurus, aestheticians, photographers, hairdressers, marketeers and influencers are of that type, though of course some of them will be found in other professions.
Many times, the Aesthete develops a personal style as they grow up, or at least is aware of current fashion trends, choosing to dress themselves at an early age. The best dressed, groomed, styled and physically attractive people in the world are overwhelmingly Aesthetes, though that doesn’t mean that all Aesthetes are naturally good-looking or stylish.
Aesthetes can be quite immaculate; or on the flip side, focus on loftier or more practical goals in favor of their personal ethics and values. Nonetheless, they possess a keen sense for objective beauty and (moral) aesthetics.
Aesthetics, or esthetics, is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aesthetics). It examines subjective and sensori-emotional values, or sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste.
Aesthetics covers both natural and artificial sources of aesthetic experience and judgment. It considers what happens in our minds when we engage with aesthetic objects or environments such as in viewing visual art, listening to music, reading poetry, experiencing a play, exploring nature, and so on.
The word aesthetic is derived from the Greek αἰσθητικός (aisthetikos, meaning “aesthetic, sensitive, sentient, pertaining to sense perception”), which in turn was derived from αἰσθάνομαι (aisthanomai, meaning “I perceive, feel, sense” and related to αἴσθησις (aisthēsis, “sensation”).
Aesthetic ethics refers to the idea that human conduct and behaviour ought to be governed by that which is beautiful and attractive. John Dewey has pointed out that the unity of aesthetics and ethics is in fact reflected in our understanding of behaviour being “fair”—the word having a double meaning of attractive and morally acceptable.
Purpose Role: The Aesthete will be in their natural element if they shape (parts of) the world or their own lifestyle suited to their sensori-emotional ideals or a(e)s(th)et(ics) – ultimately beautifying the(ir) world in one way or another.
Main Function (Fi)
The Aesthete’s main lens derives from a subjective viewpoint projected unto the human world, judging others according to their own personal standards and feelings on a regular basis – which, surprisingly, can make them (jaded) idealists, because humans do not always act according to their own individualistic standards.
The Aesthete bears a particular kind of sensitivity which onlookers rarely get to see initially, which can make their facial expressions hard to read at times. In that same manner, many Aesthetes can be quite adept at “seeing” the internal feelings and subjective attitudes of others, despite little or subtle external indicators.
Aesthetes tend to be rather unforgiving and hold grudges or be surprisingly harsh in their personal judgments of people’s behavior and character, even of people they don’t personally know, but especially when someone has hurt their feelings or impeached on something they consider of personal significance, such as personal preferences and standards that might not be obvious to others nor shared by others.
Some Aesthetes are more forgiving or have weaker boundaries, but nevertheless there is a (concealed) harshness in the way they handle relationships. They can be very critical of who they let into their inner circle. They clearly divide friend from foe and can be quite reticent towards whom they judge to be “strangers”, often unwilling to show external warmth unless sufficient emotional closeness or intimacy has been established.
Strong Functions (Fi+Si)
Many things move an Aesthete’s inner core emotionally; a piece of music, a painting, an image, a word, an action. In the hall of their feelings, there is a lot of resonance.
This emotionality is further increased by their physicality; they can feel emotional pain quite acutely in their bodies. They do not care for their internal sensations but their feelings are intimately interwoven with them either way, which can make them quite physically and emotionally sensible/sensitive, similar to The Bonvivant, though differently from them, The Aesthete typically conceals hidden sensitivities with a front of strength or even callousness, like The Systematizer.
They can be quite cognizant of how they should tend to their health or appearance, and able at doing so well. If they neglect it, it is typically on purpose in favor of other matters in life.
External Behavior (Unvalued Fe)
However, the depth of their internal emotionality is commonly not obvious; in that way, the Aesthete can paradoxically appear to be quite unemotional and unaffected by outside influence, similarly to The Strategist.
On the rare occasion they communicate their feelings in an intimate setting, it is rather common for the Aesthete to keep a straight “poker” face. They prefer to express the depth of their emotion through indirect means; instead of laughing out loud or giving an emotional speech, the Aesthete is more likely going to write and sing a song, draw a painting, or similar.
Even so, when an Aesthete feels as if they are surrounded by people of their inner circle or of value, they can be humorous or more lighthearted.
The Aesthete often feels the need to appear more logical and rational as a counterbalance to their internal emotionality. People may scold them for being too irrational and not making any logical sense; as a response, the Aesthete will try to learn theoretical knowledge and similar.
However, they do not like to delve too deeply into the mechanics of theories and systems, which differentiates them from The Psychospiritualist or Systematizer; it becomes rather apparent it is not their strong suit and they do not truly care for it.
Valued Thinking (Te)
They much prefer factual knowledge which is of a more practical nature and has stronger ties to observable reality, or alternatively spiritual insights. They usually like to rely on other individuals who possess a wealth of knowledge, provable credentials, and seem competent at the areas of their interest, rather than learning the details of theories or data themselves.
In that manner, the Aesthete admires people who are organized and knowledgeable on a wide range of topics, who are enterprising and influential, who are more practical and efficient than them, and who have a vision for the future, such as The Entrepreneur.
Aim at Intuition (Ni)
The Aesthete is commonly intrigued by means to observe a future or how to manage their time more properly; employing those means often becomes a hobby or pastime activity for an Aesthete. Especially the spiritual and foresight-related activities can make them appear similar to The Psychospiritualist, though differently from them, the Aesthete gains most of their wisdoms later in life through trial and error phases of experimentations and sensorial experiences.
Aesthetes sometimes *unknowingly* engage in endeavors that prove to be rather foolish or even quite detrimental from a long-term perspective; their wisdom has its limits in time-related perception. It is common for them not to know their purpose until later in life.
External Function (Se)
Despite their lack of strong logic, the Aesthete manages to be influential on a more visceral level. They can find ways to obtain a higher or estimated rank in social groups of their choosing, if they attempt to do so. (Nowadays, that often happens on social media.)
It is not clear how exactly the Aesthete accomplishes this; people cannot help but feel like the Aesthete has a psychological influence over them. Once someone has entered their inner circle or won their heart, they can be direct and clear about what they like, want, and so forth.
They are capable at protecting their personal space and pushing forward their interests, at times including the ability to exert psychological pressure on others in order to get what they want.
Additionally, Aesthetes can be quite aware of how to move, position, and apply their bodies in a seductive but understated way, which creates an air of elegant sensuality around them.
Weak Intuition (Ne)
It can be incredibly challenging to convince an Aesthete of alternative possibilities or meanings or ways of life when they do not fit into the feelings an Aesthete has about the situation or topic. Aesthetes can be extremely resistant to change, especially when it occurs in the outside world.
Often times, Aesthetes are quite set in their ways and react quite negatively if someone tries to make them change their ways. It is not uncommon for an Aesthete to retain the same moral judgments, to meet an Aesthete many years later and not much will have changed about them at all – neither appearance-wise nor mentally.
Aesthetes are amongst the people who tend to change the least in their lives; and that can both be a blessing and a curse. Both positive traits and negative issues are most likely going to remain, unless a major life event or repeated and extended coaching will force them to change their perspective.
Aesthetes are often more mature, as in serious (not necessarily wise), from rather early on, and this maturity carries on to the years to come; this is why people often take them more seriously than other types.
They can struggle with assessing their true strengths and weaknesses, and tend to be plagued by imagining all kinds of worst-case scenarios, potential futures, but most of which will never come true, similar to The Systematizer.
The Ego of the Aesthete:
The Super-Id (valued but weak)
The weakest Functions:
The strongest Functions:
ISFP (MBTI), ESI (Socionics)
There are specific subtype variations of the Aesthete.
Fi subtype (Classic Introvert)
Fi (Introverted Feeling) subtype Aesthetes share most of those traits:
- Stereotypically introverted
- more invested in spiritual, mystical, or abstractly creative endeavors or interests
- more in need of practical help and guidance and less concerned with physicality or appearance
- more sensitive and touchy
Se subtype (Extroverted Introvert / “Ambivert”)
Se (Extroverted Sensing) subtype Aesthetes share most of those traits:
- ”Ambiverted“ (can be mistaken for an extrovert)
- more visibly pushy or even ”bossy“
- more impulsive
- more into sports and forming their body into an impressive physique
- more logical/less emotional
Note: Don’t mistake Jungian “ambiversion” with sociable Enneagram instinctual stackings, like So/Sx, So/Sp, Sx/So. If you are an introvert with one of those stackings, you’ll come across as “ambiverted”, even if you don’t have that subtype!
An Aesthete who falls into both categories more or less is mostly likely the No subtype kind.
- more individualistic and/or abstract (Type 4)
- more harmony-seeking and light-hearted (Type 9)
- more vigilant and/or energetic (Type 6)
If you are neither Enneagram type 4, 9, nor 6, you are most likely not The Aesthete. But make sure you are correctly typed. You can book a Get•Typed session here.
Least compatible: The Experimentalist
*Note: These types can occasionally be less compatible due to mismatching Enneagram.
Aesthete Celebrities: Click here
Note: Of course there are aesthetes who possess a different personality type, so please do not assume that all aesthetes in the world fit this personality type! I call the Introverted Feeling + Sensing personality type “The Aesthete” not only because they are usually aesthetic (visually and/or ethically), but also because this personality structure personifies the archetype the best.