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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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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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