Is Nishinoya an ESFP? MBTI Analysis with Functions

header by @kkumri instagram

With a height of 159cm and the number 4 on his back, our fierce libero of Karasuno has always a big presence wherever he is.

One of the manliest among the crows and with his apparent animal-like instincts he never fails to impress the people around him.

All those things are visible by simply looking at Nishinoya first hand by watching the anime or reading the manga.

But there is another thing: Nishinoya is an ESFP.

Something you cannot directly see on first glance.


Oh yes, for those of you who are not familiar with MBTI personality test, the MBTI personality test basically gives the tester four letters meaning you are either E or I, N or T, F or S, and lastly J or P.

Last time in our post we only covered those letters and didn’t go much deeper into the cognitive functions, we only went over the letters without making any connections to the stack.

We already saw Kageyama’s stack as an ISTJ and now it is time for Nishinoya’s.

As an supposed ESFP Nishinoya’s stack is the following: Se-Fi-Te-Ni.

Step by step we will cover each function, it’s meaning considering the position on the stack and also Nishinoya’s extroverted nature (E).

I will show you my deep analysis on Nishinoya’s personality type through my own observations until the latest season and the manga (status: season 3), showing you in detail why Nishinoya is potentially an ESFP. (Yes this is a spoiler warning.)

Let’s not wait any longer and dive into the journey of Nishinoya’s personality!


Ever wondered that there are people who are either surrounded by a group or have someone else around, but you never see them alone?

That’s extroversion, the kind of person who feels the most energized and happy when they can be around others.

The E in ESFP stands for the trait that shows how someone ‘charges’ their battery, meaning if they get exhausted by spending time alone or with people. In case of an extrovert, they get easily drained when they are spending time alone and derive their energy when they are around others, seeking much more social contact to refill the battery.

And Nishinoya is just that kind of person if you observe him throughout the anime.

The very first indicator of his obvious extroversion can be seen right away when he is introduced in the series, someone who is very loud and open-minded, boldly saying anything that comes into his mind at the moment.

After Hinata talks to for the first time he shows an easy-going and open nature that seems ready to interact with even strangers. He gets easily excited as seen when Hinata called him senpai and he immediately got carried away by that offering him anything he wants in return, teaching him at any time he wants to.

Not only does he get excited over that single thing but in several other scenes you can see him as a moodmaker as he pushes away the most negative aura due to the excitement of a new opponent he can learn from or confront.

He doesn’t fear direct confrontation and speaking his mind, and even when got suspended, the others asked him how he was in such good form despite being absent. Nishinoya stated that he had trained with the neighborhood women and other people to keep his training on-going.

After returning to Karasuno and playing as a regular again, it’s seen that he casually talks to the new members as well as his upperclassmen. 

Additionally Nishinoya is always standing next to someone, very close, jumps on their back or like in Tsukishima’s case even bites his shoulder despite the fact he isn’t that close to him.

A true extrovert through and through.

Dominant Se:

Our first actual function, the dominant Se.

What is Se?

Se is a perceiving function aka the S for Sensing and since we established Nishinoya is an extrovert the first function on his Stack is, to no surprise, also extraverted.

Therefore Nishinoya’s dominant function is extraverted Sensing.

What does that mean now?

Having a perceiving function as your dominant function can already say a lot how you interact with the world around you and it’s the first thing people will notice when they look at you without even having to interact with you.

Since the dominant function is the first one that develops in our functional stack it’s the strongest and the most natural one we use, meaning it’s the easiest to use.

The Se in Nishinoya’s stack being his first function represents a lot about how we perceive him as a person, it could also be seen as the function when you introduce someone and the first words you would describe a person with.

What are the first words you would describe Nishinoya with?

Probably a lot and I can tell you: all of them would fall into the Dom Se category!

Now after a long explanation let’s see what the Dom Se is actually telling us.

His dominant function tells us that Nishinoya interacts with the world directly as his relationship with the world is established through physical sensation, it relies on sensory experience meaning what is happening around me is a constant question that his subconscious is trying to answer by observing the things around him.

Stimulating experiences to get a kick of adrenaline and enjoying the world around him, taking any opportunity that comes his way as he spots them and takes advantage of them.

People with Dom Se can be described as adventurous, loud, bold, courageous, adaptable and entertaining.

They also think that actions speak more than words, does that ring a bell?

Starting with the most obvious part is his strong sense of focussing on opportunities as he brushes off worries and concerns that others might have by playing them off, especially Asahi is someone he always explains not to be a worrywart, he often scolds Asahi for whining a lot instead of properly doing something unlike some other Aces.

Another one would be wearing shirts with word plays on them, especially those which sounded manly to him, as he also is determined to become a manly man despite his height and does live by those principles to fulfill the desire of becoming what he wishes to be instead of simply saying it or pretending to.

This is not the only decision he made based on the excitement he felt, even joining Karasuno was due to the fact he liked the uniforms and wanted to wear them as he regarded them as cool and manly.

His way of intaking all the events happening is clearly shown in the anime many times.

Nishinoya never takes his eyes off whenever they are playing or watching someone, always having the people and events around him in sight.

In-game his reflexes are unmatched as seen in the first Dateko match in season one where he got the ball with his foot at the last second.

Shortly before the first Seijoh vs Karasuno match, Hinata and Nishinoya were sitting next to each other watching Oikawa serve against another team. Especially in the manga Nishinoya emphasizes his strong desire to receive one of his serves since he mentioned that in his middle-school years he heard about an extremely talented setter that had powerful serves, even though they were not that strong like the current Oikawa.

His adventurous and courageous side wanting to enjoy the challenges around him is seen here clearly. He never directly spoke to Oikawa and in the practice match he wasn’t there but immediately spotted him. He also got angry when Aone spoke to Karasuno before their first match as he still holds a small grudge against him, even though he wasn’t at the scene at that point he always looks around and spotted them talking, quickly joining in.

Nishinoya’s constant watch on what is happening around him is also shown when he receives during practice despite just arriving at the gym or training independently without anyone asking him to receive, he also looks out for his team members and has a close watch on his opponents all the time like Yaku from Nekoma who stated that people like Nishinoya who constantly watch others with the desire to grow are indeed scary.

Yet those parts also show us that Nishinoya’s Se can go into extremes that may be considered unhealthy.

We see that Nishinoya is very moody at times and his behaviour flips in an instant, which can be – in Daichi’s case f.e – very annoying and unpredictable.

Nishinoya is a serious player and we also see him being hard-working showing us that he actually cares about his team but at other times  his simple curiosity and superficial mindset can cause more trouble, yet we see it rather off-court than on-court when he interacts with people.

Auxiliary Fi:

The second function on his stack: Auxiliary Fi.

The feeling side we can observe in Nishinoya without digging too deep is also due to the function being rather on the top of the stack as the second function works like a support for the dominant óne.

Fi stands for introverted Feeling which is one of the judging functions, since Nishinoya’s Dominant Se is a perceiving one the information he constantly gathers also needs processing to evaluate situations and develop a good moral judgement before rushing to things.

Therefore the Se-Fi works like that: Se intakes information that Fi is going to process and evaluate properly in order to reduce more damage and help his emotional state by not completely being too reckless.

Being the second function Nishinoya resisting his Fi would be quite hard so we can see a lot of moments he actually uses it in the anime as well.

We have different varieties were his Fi is present one would be when he sticks close to his Dom Se, his comfort zone and tries to ignore the Fi but it comes out in a way or another, which is displayed through brushing off important feelings or emotions, ignoring warning signs, the lack of understanding why some paths may be dangerous and unhealthy,looking down on those who are too earnest and avoiding responsibility by playing the victim.

While Nishinoya is earnest himself and also displays those types of behaviours rather than the beginning in the series we see those slight resists in some examples.

The first scene in which Noya appeared was showing that he broke a mop and was very angry as he lashed out due to his emotions. That very scene was due to Asahi declaring that he would stop playing which stirred him up, also showing that he stopped coming to the club as well (even without his suspension) because he just can’t play if Asahi is not around, making this decision heavily based on emotions only.

Nishinoya doesn’t need Asahi to play his position, rationally speaking and with his skill-level it wouldn’t be a problem at all to keep playing with other people instead, yet he simply was against it irrationally choosing what felt right to him as he tried to blame Asahi for the whole situation they were in.

We also see that when Asahi is overly earnest and tries his best Nishinoya tends to make fun of him or look down on him for his good-nature and soft heart which is one of Asahi’s good sides yet a weak point as well.

He doesn’t take any warnings either as he brushes them off easily one example would be when he ignored the warning that the vice-principle was coming and he still ignored that fact causing him to get suspended.

Still Nishinoya’s Fi also displayed itself in a manner that can be viewed as overindulging in Fi which means when still developing Fi and don’t knowing how to use it, Nishinoya for example can use it subconsciously in an extreme manner.

The Asahi example can be again taken for that.

Another one would be that negative feelings are kept unresolved and inhibit his judgement, one of that moments are few but in the case of season 4 we see that even Nishinoya can stop to function in his position as a Libero after meeting Atsumu Miya’s serve that made him remember how he messed up many times and how he used to fear everything at a point making him feel useless.

Nishinoya takes things too personally at times too, as he almost started a fight with Kageyama on the court when they played against Dateko in season 4 episode 6 and 7.

His first reaction was feeling attacked by Kageyama’s remark about him being in the way which was justified, after the matter being explained Nishinoya backed off but the immediate reaction showed his trait.

But most of the time, especially apart of the beginning where Nishinoya started to appear, we can clearly see him use his Fi in a healthy manner.

Nishinoya’s emotions are always authentic and he accepts emotions very well not making fun of them (in a serious way that is).

He wanted to play against Oikawa due to his respect to him and his immense development in that short time he had heard from him in middle-school, motivating him even more as he played against him.

All in all his emotions are easily spotted, genuine  and he shows them openly. When he is sad or touched he easily cries, when angry he gets louder and yells at people, even when Hinata talked to him he got touched and therefore offered to help him right away, simply because Hinata said some nice words.

Especially when excited and happy he even jumps high and climbs on other people’s backs.

He is also very understanding towards mistakes and short-comings, being the first one to encourage his teammates no matter if it was a good play or a big mistake.

Even on the sidelines he is the first one to jump over and rush into a  hug to congratulate the one who made a point.

His famous line “I got your backs”, also shows us his other ways of showing emotional encouragement and himself displaying his empathetic nature of thinking about others while pushing his own self-care of confidence.

Someone who wears his heart on his sleeve, that is Nishinoya Yuu.

Tertiary Te:

As his tertiary function is Te his balance consists of Fi-Te.

Even when someone with an auxiliary Fi tries to resist it or there is a lack in it, in Nishinoya’s case it being the second on his stack makes it hard so Te is the defense mechanism that comes in when Fi is in one of those mentioned states.

Te rewards the lacking Fi with a sense of competence and strength, this means the lacking Fi misuses the Te causing the person to fall into a Te loop that tries to find a short-term “solution” for deep-lying self-image or self-confidence issues.

Nishinoya is very stubborn when it comes to his own skills and competences, despite being an amazing Libero and proving that fact in every match he stills seems to be never satisfied with himself and always seeks to improve, as he does that in a very domineering way not letting anyone stop him or even gets angry and resentful when someones tries to threaten or advise him that he is fine as he is. He refuses help from others at those times and does what he believes his right, as long as he sees he is competent enough to reach his goal his Te rewards his Fi with that false sense of strength to make him more confident about himself for the time-being than he actually is.

When he tells himself that he can do a certain thing for sure and obsessively emphasizes that even when he is in a monologue it is mostly to negative emotions, f.e when he fails to get receives several times or especially when he is not confident.

In season 4 we also see him almost not doing an overhand receive because it was the more secure way despite Nishinoya clearly trained to do exactly that receive especially when it came to jump floaters after experiencing Hanamaki doing it in the game of season 2. 

His negative emotions mostly are buried behind a facade of I got your back, I am sure I can get any receive and many other words that should express his power.

Since we saw in the manga part and anime in season one, in the first practice match against Nekoma that Nishinoya praised Yaku for his skills but didn’t recognize his own, Yaku mentioned that Nishinoya probably doesn’t even see it himself. It shows that Nishinoya might be aware he is not confident but subconsciously expresses confident manners when in a loop.

Inferior Ni:

art by @nanaboodraws on twitter

Ni, the last one on Nishinoya’s stack and it’s also the function that could be considered the least developed one out of the four.

While Ni is there to learn about intuitive connections it’s there to encourage yourself to nurture the inner world and reflect on the things happening around you, as well as connecting them into a context so you can fill the unknown in yourself. It also provides the imagination of idealistic ideas and envisioning the future ahead of you all that is part of introverted Intuition.

Yet in Nishinoya’s case Ni is his last function on the stack, it means he is more prone to resist and ignore his NI, especially when his Dom Se is going to extremes, this can cause the ignored Ni to become louder and louder when the problems caused by the former and it even can be threatening over time.

And that’s where Ni grip comes in, it unconsciously tries to compensate for the lack of the Se or Se extremes, but since the Ni usually is still underdeveloped it doesn’t turn out well and then the so-called grip happens.

The grip can be described when people would say this isn’t like you at all since usually the one exhibiting the grip behaviour isn’t even aware of that fact.

Nishinoya in Ni grip would be almost the opposite of what he almost is.

Hard to believe that the upbeat Nishinoya could be anything but loud and excited?

Well very wrong, in season four we actually see Nishinoya in his best Ni-grip behaviour.

Where do you ask?

Atsumu Miya standing on the other side of the court.

Yes, Nishinoya may be really excited and loves the challenge but especially in the course of the match we see him being quite different than we usually know him and see a whole different side of him.

It’s almost as if he was isolating himself while he felt trapped, felt very gloomy, frustrated, helpless, unassured  and doubtful which are all signs of Ni grip.

He was doubting himself over and over and panicked about not being able to move, totally frozen and paraylzed by fear.

It’s as if the Nishinoya who said I got your back was a whole other being in that moment, his calm and contemplating nature about all the mistakes he could make by getting targeted and not being able to even move for Atsumu’s serves started in entire flashback about how he used to fear everything in his life.

He himself explained he moved on from that point where he was scared and after a long time admitted he was scared yet again like he used too as he indirectly questioned his confidence, abilities and his own value.

Usually Nishinoya who might be stubborn when it comes to advice or help but still accepts that he has Daichi and the others next to him, felt totally alone and trapped in that situation, closed-off and being able to reach out if it wasn’t for Kinoshita getting him out of that wrecked thought-process.

But Nishinoya himself questioned if this is all he could do, if this is the so-called Libero he should be and was almost freaking out by not being able to do anything due to he fear that overcame him,

It was a rare moment but that vulnerable, deep in thought Nishinoya who was unusually quiet and almost going crazy due to his inability seeking much more in that moment – That’s also part of Nishinoya but only the part that comes up when he is at his lowest.

As we understand now we surely can say, it was a moment where Nishinoya’s inferior Ni worked against him in a stressed situation, seeing it not being as developed as it should be but since it’s his inferior function around his age it’s quite normal for him to subconsciously misuse it to compensate for his Se extremes.


@suncelia on deviantart

Nishinoya is the very depiction of an ESFP as he embodies all the traits that his functions should represent. His personality type that is called the entertainer fits his fierce and energized nature, unpredictable of what he is going to do next.

With his short height yet big presence, he always stands in the spotlight as his amazing skills, loud voice and strong personality overshadow his much taller allies and opponents.

Even his flashy way of talking, his hairstyle and confidence Nishinoya earns the title of an ESFP.

Never getting tired of what is possible and what has to come, and never stopping to explore much more to what is there in the world.

Can you agree or do you see other traits in Nishinoya?

Write it down in the comments!

Until next time, rushing for my tea with a rolling thuuunder!


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