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What an MBTI Personality Test Can Reveal About Your Relationships

What an MBTI Personality Test Can Reveal About Your Relationships

The MBTI Personality Test is an attempt by psychologists to categorize different personality types. The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personal inventory that is meant to make the theory of psychological types described by Carl Jung understandable and accessible to people’s lives.[1]

But did you know that you can actually use this data to improve your relationships?

In this article we will describe the MBTI Personality Test, discuss what the different personality types mean, and talk about how you can use your personality type to improve the quality of your relationships.

What is the MBTI Personality Test?

The MBTI Personality Test is a short test (about 93 questions) that should only take about ten to fifteen minutes to complete.  A free version of the test can be found here. The official test can be taken here, but be aware that it will cost you $50.

The test consists of questions that ask you your preferences about how you interact with people and the world. There are four main personality types measured by the test: introversion vs. extroversion, sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling, and judging vs. perceiving.

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When you are finished the test, it places you into a category for each preference. Your personality type, then, is a four letter combo (i.e. INFJ). The web has lots of information for each personality type.

Meaning of different personality types

There are 16 different personality types (according to the test).[2] The frequency of each type varies, but it looks like the most common types are ISFJ and ESFJ.[3]

Each personality type has its own description, but each letter represents a different aspect of your personality. Here are what each of the letters stand for and what they mean:

  • Introvert (I) vs. Extrovert (E). An introvert is someone who finds social interactions to be emotionally draining. If you’re the type of person who needs some alone time to recharge after a party or social gathering, then you are most likely an introvert. An extrovert, on the other hand, finds social interaction to be emotionally fulfilling and they find themselves charged up by social interaction. (NOTE: Nothing about introversion or extroversion suggests you like or dislike social interaction, despite common misconceptions.)
  • Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N). Sensors focus on the present. They perceive things through the five senses and see everything as concrete, realistic, and literal. Intuitive people live in the future. They process information through patterns and impressions and see things as abstract, idealistic, and theoretical.
  • Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F). Thinking people are objective. They make decisions based on facts and are logical, rational, and impersonal. Feeling people are subjective. They make decisions based on principles and values and are passionate, empathetic, and caring of others.
  • Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P). Judging people think sequentially. They value order and organization and are decisive, organized, and structured. Perceiving people are adaptive and flexible. They are spontaneous and random thinkers and are adaptable and flexible.

It’s also important to note that many of these personality traits exist on a sliding scale. This means that you might at some point in your life be on one side of the scale and, at other points in your life, on the other side of the scale. Your personality changes through time and experience.

How to improve relationships with the MBTI Personality Test

When looking for relationships, I often recommend three things: know yourself, love yourself, and be yourself.

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1. Know yourself

This is where the MBTI Personality Test is useful. Take the test for yourself and figure out what personality type you are. Remember, this isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of thing.

Your personality can change in very subtle ways over the years. So, take it more than once.

2. Love yourself

Once you know your personality type, you can become more aware of who you really are.

One of the hardest things we can do for ourselves is treat ourselves with the same kindness and respect as we treat others.

How can you ever expect someone else to love you if you don’t love yourself?

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3. Be yourself

This is the most common dating advice, and people have been giving it for as long as there have been relationships.

The benefit of being who you really are is that you will attract people to you who are compatible with you. When it comes to dating, compatibility is a lot more solid than compromise.

Don’t compromise who you are just to be with someone.

What do you value most in a relationship?

It’s hard to summarize a person with just a word, but each of the Meyers-Briggs personality types has a single quality that they value more than others. Here is a list of the personality types and the traits they value most:[4]

  • ISTJ: Dedication
  • ISFJ: Safety
  • ESFJ: Enthusiasm
  • ESTJ: Teamwork
  • ISFP: Freedom
  • ISTP: Friendship
  • ESFP: Passion
  • ESTP: Choice
  • ENFP: Encouragement
  • INFJ: Soulmates
  • INFP: Acceptance
  • ENFJ: Support
  • INTP: Intellect
  • ENTJ: Excellence
  • ENTP: Autonomy
  • INTJ: Vision

Bottom line

Remember that this is an approximation based on psychology and other various personality traits. There are no surefire ways to make sure that you wind up in the right relationship.

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However, using the MBTI Personality Test is a great way to see how compatible you are with people.

If you are one personality type, you might find the value on the list that you think you’d be most compatible with. Look at all of the other types on the list to see which value stands out the most to you as something you’d like to have in a relationship.

For example, if you are an INTJ and value vision, you might also value Enthusiasm. So, an ESFJ personality type might be most compatible with you.

At the end of the day, this is mostly just a guide. At the very least you can get an idea for what personality type you have and discover a few things about yourself in the process.

Featured photo credit: Andrik Langfield via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

James Leatherman

The founder of Happymindsets.com and is passionate about personal growth, psychology, philosophy and science

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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