Can Learning About Your Personality Type help To Strengthen Your Relationships?

I can still remember it like it was yesterday when I stumbled upon a personality test on Pinterest while I was on a lunch break. I have always loved any kind of personality test so I was excited to try this one out. I had never seen it before and read that it was based on psychological preferences and seemed to be the real deal test instead of the silly ones you see on Facebook where you choose an image and bam, your personality is determined. I clicked the link https://www.16personalities.com and began answering the questions, having no idea what I was about to find out about myself, and then later, my loved ones. 

After I finished the test, the results popped up and it turned out that I was an INFJ. After reading the description and being surprised at how accurate it was, I decided to go back to Pinterest and see what I could find out about my new found personality type and wow, they had A LOT! To be honest, that suited me just fine because I was instantly obsessed with finding out more! Never in my life had I ever read anything that made me feel more understood than this information I was reading and I was excited to share the wealth! For me this completely was groundbreaking, profound, and something I needed to share – with EVERYONE! 

Quickly, I sent the test to my Mom, identical twin sister, and little brother and gently harassed them to take the test ASAP, and luckily for me, they obliged. 

The results: Mom – ESTJ, Twin sister – ESFJ, Little Brother – ESTP

The descriptions for each of their types fit them so perfectly, and I was very happy to see that they soon became eager for more information on their types (which I dived right into my research and sent them everything I could – so INFJ of me, right?) What was so interesting was as I compiled the information, I no longer needed to preface the personality type description to the person. It was obvious which person these descriptions fit, and with that, we were all hooked! 

When I got home I asked my husband to take the test and after promising him (about 5 times) that the test really wasn’t thaaaat long, he finally took it and the results were – an ISFJ. Finding out he was an introvert like me was no surprise, you’d probably find us enjoying a quiet night in watching a movie or binge watching a series on a Friday night rather than catching us out at a bar with friends, but it intrigued me to learn more about what the “N” and the “S” meant for each of us and how we could grow from our differences.

I understand that not everyone is as interested in learning more about themselves, and that’s fine. Different strokes for different folks, but I am passionate about personal growth because I feel like learning more about who you are can only make you more self aware and honest in your own life and relationships. I was happy to get my family onboard to self awareness, and as I started to ask friends to take the test (and even had my co-workers try it out) I noticed that it not only brought us all together to discuss the results, it also gave us the space to talk about things we want to change or things we didn’t realize about ourselves and that felt really powerful to me. Seeing that the test gave them a better sense of self was a gift all its own and I feel like it’s helped to carve a new road in our relationships. 

How it can help you

UnderstandingOne of the biggest takeaways I gained from reading about the different types as they pertained to my family and husband was learning how we all perceive and take in information. We all use our function stack very differently and I think seeing it was helpful for all of us. I feel like it  gave us a better gauge as to what we can and cannot expect from each other. For instance with my family, I can’t expect my little brother (ESTP) to make firm plans when he’d rather go with the flow and see what happens. I can’t expect my Mom (ESTJ) to always emotionally understand something that I am feeling, and I can’t change the fact that my sister (twin and all) will always enjoy Halloween and other types of social functions more than I do. In my marriage, I can’t always give my husband (ISFJ) the concrete A to B explanation the Sensor in him wants. My brain, being the Intuitive, sees so many different sides to things that I cannot always explain a definitive feeling/thought on something in a moment’s notice. 

By reading about our types, instead of getting frustrated or taking things personally, my loved ones and I could use these tools as a way to bridge the gap in our communication and understanding of one another. Once we all started exchanging our thoughts about the results I just felt this sense of accomplishment. Here was a way to keep these relationships both fulfilling and strong. If we can understand how and why one does what they do, then we can accept and love them for just the way they are. And isn’t that what we are all hoping for at the end of the day?

Confidence – This was a big one for me. Since finding out my personality type and finally having proof that I wasn’t just “odd” but actually introverted, I was able to stand a little taller. Knowing that I finally understood myself also meant that I could take the pressure off others in times I felt upset when I didn’t feel seen. It’s been healing on a very deeply personal level and I feel I’ve grown in my confidence by leaps and bounds.

This test is based in psychology and is used by many companies to help better understand what drives their employees as well as figure out what they need in order for them to do their best work. Now, I understand that some may argue if it’s really an effective practice, but I feel like if this could help to make a workplace harmonious, think about what it could do for you and the people closest to you? Even if it’s only to find out who is Extrovert and who is Introvert – I think it’s still a win. That way when the introvert wants to stay in or doesn’t answer the phone when you call, you’ll understand and be confident that it’s nothing personal, it’s just the way they are wired. That kind of confidence in your understanding in one another will allow for a very small chance of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. 

Personal Growth – How are we supposed to accept and love others if we do not accept and love ourselves? Sometimes we spend so much time focusing outward that we miss that whatever we find missing in others may actually be missing in us. If we are able to see ourselves objectively, because we’ve dug in and done the work, then maybe the relationships around us will grow and become better than we ever thought possible. 

During the time that I found the personality test I was going through a rather difficult transition in my life and was searching for a deeper understanding into the person I was becoming. It was challenging to look in the mirror and realize I needed to make some changes, not only in myself, but the people I surrounded myself with as well. In the end, finally allowing myself to understand who I was for me and only me, gave me the strength to take the small steps in making my life the way I wanted it. I give this test a lot of credit for helping me open my eyes and help me feel understood and worthy. It gave me the knowledge and tools to help me accept who I was and it’s been a real gift to my life. 

Self discovery looks different to everyone and if you’re on that journey, best of luck to you. It is not an easy one, but finding out more about who you are can be a truly enriching part of your life. Hopefully one that could even inspire the ones around you to jump in and do the work for themselves and your relationship too. 

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