Understanding personality types is an important step to creating lasting relationships. As Isabel Briggs Meyers said, “It is up to each person to recognize his or her true preferences.” Knowing ourselves and honoring our preferences is key to individual confidence and satisfaction. Yet many of us may not be aware of our personality type and the role it plays in our relationships. You can use the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator Instrument on your own to discover your personality type. However, only a therapist who is certified to administer the instrument can help you verify your type and unlock the true meaning of your preferences.
Personality types determine your preferred way of doing things in four key areas of your life. Your personality type impacts your communication, your career, your relationship, and your decisions about your life. Understanding your own and your partners’ personality types can benefit your relationship. This article focuses on understanding how you interact with the world around you.
The first indicator assesses whether you are more extroverted or introverted. According to Susan Cain, author of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, extroverts “relish social life.” They “prefer more stimulating environments that give them frequent opportunities to see and speak with others.” Extroverts are at their best in stimulating environments. Introverts are easily drained by overstimulation. They prefer the company of a few close friends to large parties and are at their best when tapping into their own thoughts.
Why is this important? A very social partner may feel frustrated with a quieter partner. An introverted partner may find herself drained by trying to keep up with the busy social life of an extrovert. Conversely, a more outgoing partner can inspire a more reserved one to do things he might not choose to do on his own.
For a relationship to work well, both partners must respect the others’ preferences. An introverted person needs quiet downtime with a partner. An extroverted partner may become bored after too many quiet nights at home. Finding balance is key, so work toward compromise. Maybe the more social partner agrees to attend the company holiday party solo. As a result, his partner will have the energy to host a small holiday gathering for their close friends. Perhaps the extroverted partner prioritizes her social events so that she isn’t leaving her partner at home more than one night per week.
If you and your partner are struggling to find a pace of life that benefits both of you, try calling Lisa Ryan. I can help you learn about the differences between introverts and extroverts. Understanding your personality types can help you and your partner discuss differences in the way you prefer to spend time. Call me at 203-226-8800 or click here to reach me by email.