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There’s no doubt about it — Dolly Parton is larger than life. Between her bubbly personality, raw honesty, and unmatched talent and drive, the country superstar seems to have done it all. Some of her success might be attributed to her personality type as determined by the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI). Which does Parton fit and did it help bump up a recent social media craze?

Dolly Parton’s personality type, according to Myers-Briggs

Dolly Parton sits in a pink dress while being interviewed on 'Today'.
Dolly Parton | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Parton is one of those stars destined for success. With all her years in music, TV, philanthropy, and more, some wonder if she’s an “ESFJ” or “ESFP.” If you’ve ever heard someone describe themselves with a string of seemingly random letters like this, they’re referring to the MBTI which delegates traits, strengths, and weaknesses between 16 personality profiles. A few different websites, such as 16 Personalities and Crystal Knows cite Parton’s type as “ESFJ.”

This particular type includes “Extrovert, Sensing, Feeling, and Judging.” Someone with this type is described via Meyers-Briggs as:

“Warmhearted, conscientious, and cooperative. Want harmony in their environment, work with determination to establish it. Like to work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time. Loyal, follow through even in small matters. Notice what others need in their day-by-day lives and try to provide it. Want to be appreciated for who they are and for what they contribute.”

Although this definition fits, other sites, such as Truity suggest she’s actually an “ESFP.” This type replaces “Judging” with “Perceiving.” In other words, this type is a “performer” and “giver.”

Meyers-Briggs defines an “ESFP” type as:

“Outgoing, friendly, and accepting. Exuberant lovers of life, people, and material comforts. Enjoy working with others to make things happen. Bring common sense and a realistic approach to their work, and make work fun. Flexible and spontaneous, adapt readily to new people and environments. Learn best by trying a new skill with other people.”

Despite not knowing how Parton would score on the personality test, it’s clear she’s a mix of the two. That said, did those attributes directly affect her social media presence and the challenge that erupted on the internet?

Could Parton’s personality type explain why ‘The Dolly Parton Challenge’ went viral?

If Parton truly is an EFSJ, EFSP (or a mix of the two), it makes sense that the star’s Jan. 2020 Instagram post — “The Dolly Parton Challenge” — dominated social media. The photo shows Parton in four different looks: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Tinder, with the caption “Get you a woman who can do it all [winky face].”

The point made is that Parton — and women everywhere — are more than any one thing. The post inspired celebrities like Parton’s god-daughter Miley Cyrus, Oprah, and even The Jonas Brothers.

If we break down the two personality types, they both lead with (E) extroversion, which Parton owns. She’s never afraid to speak her truths and when she walks onto a stage, the world stops to watch her. (S) sensing is shown in Parton’s work ethic as well as her appreciation for the little joys in life.

Everything Parton does is with (F) feeling. She’s a pragmatic philanthropist, a natural-born giver, and an advocate. As for (J) Judging and (P) perceiving, it’s her strong will to succeed and flexibility (i.e. going with the flow) that likely contribute to her best work.

If Parton took the test herself, there are a few different variants that might show up. However, the most dominant facets of each of the two — being an extrovert and following her heart — are transparent in “The Dolly Parton Challenge” post as it reveals exactly why so many follow and admire the country queen.

Parton’s views have shaped her personality


How Dolly Parton Responded When Asked if She Was the Next ‘Female Elvis’ in 1978

With Parton’s exuberant and inclusive on-stage persona, some might wonder if it translates off-stage.

“I don’t turn on and off. If I’m out in public, I have to be really on, and more vocal, and present myself. But I have this other side to me that’s very quiet, she told Vogue in 2016. “Sometimes I can go a whole day without saying anything. My best friend, Judy, and my husband, Carl [Dean], when we’re comfortable, we might not say much of anything. But I’m not a different person — I’m just a little quieter.”

 She went on to explain why people might be drawn to her, even if only through an Instagram challenge.

“I really do ask God every single day to let me do something, say something, be something that matters to somebody else. To make somebody feel good. To let people see a spark of love,” she said. “God is love, that’s the scripture. I remember believing in my childhood that through God all things are possible. I’m not a religious person. I’m not a religious fanatic. I’m a sinner like everybody else.”

She continued: “But I do believe that there is something greater. I try to find the good. All those good Christian people who have something to say about everybody, I think: Well, where’s your religion? You’re taught not to judge, and you’re supposed to love your neighbor like yourself. I want to be loved, and so I try to love everybody.”

Regardless of what personality type she claims, Parton is truly one of a kind.