Where does the time go? I’m just kidding, I know how to slow time (just click it, I will not disappoint). In all seriousness, it’s amazing to think about how we change. It’s amazing to think about how one year ago we were so different. Nevermind thinking about nine years ago. My life changed dramatically nine years ago, and I continue to ride the wave.
Nine years ago I asked a beautiful girl out as my girlfriend. That sounds cheesy, doesn’t it? Except for nine years later our marriage approaches five years and has three children. This article will be no discredit to the people who’ve been married for seventy-five years, but I aim to show what I have taken away from the last nine years.
Relationships are hard. I often wonder how I can make every relationship in my life work except for the one that is supposedly part of me. How can I go to work and lead all kinds of people to success? How can I go in public and carry on deep, meaningful conversations with strangers? Why can I find more success in almost any relationship other than what seems present in marriage at times?
Asking this girl to date me was easy because she is beautiful. Physically, she’s the nicest looking girl I know. But she also possesses the traits that I do not. What a catch. I am typically quiet, reserved, and introverted. She is louder, outgoing, and an extrovert. I’m a thinker and she a feeler. For almost anything I can think of, she’s the opposite. I organize and her not. But I love it.
Easy to love traits from afar it is. It explains why every relationship seems better than the one closest to you. Those relationships don’t wake you up by a random punch at three in the morning. Those relationships don’t smash into each other in the small hallway at home. The opportunities for frustration are not as prevalent. If they do sour, it’s easy to walk away from them a lot of the time. Marriage and relationships do not exist for that.
Yesterday I came to realize that I need to get back to embracing the differences in my relationship, but also in all of my relationships. The differences make the world go round. If 100% introverts existed, the world would better in some ways, but much worse in others.
Say anything you like about the Myers-Briggs test, but I’ve found a good amount of success and value from this version at 16 personalities. It’s not an affiliate link. There’s no spam or nothing foul. I stumbled across this years ago, after finding much curiosity in the Myers-Briggs testing. I searched and came across this, the best interpretation of personalities I have yet to find. And it’s got me pinned like I can’t believe.
I know, and the site says, it’s not an end-all, but it’s a great place to understand other people. It provides a good jumping off point, whether you agree with the criteria. I spent a full day examining my closest relationship yesterday and here’s what I had to remember, with much help to his site and these tests.
My personality type is INTJ-A. I’m introverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging. I’m also assertive in my style. I rely on “Confident Individualism” and am an “Analyst” according to the site. Other words to describe INTJ’s are masterminds and visionaries. The motto? “Everything has room for improvement.” All the time. INTJ’s are often the most independent. Myself included.
It’s great info that I strive to meet. Because of that, I sometimes expect other’s to apply the same standards to themselves. Meanwhile, I forget that 2-3% of the world falls into the INTJ category. Even tougher, 1-2% of women fall there. Good luck finding somebody like you, especially when it’s not the best option necessarily.
And now, what I forgot after nine years.
She’s the exact opposite. I understand this in full, so why does it take a test to remind me?
Her ESFP-T couldn’t be more of an opposite personality than mine. She’s the extrovert to my introvert, the sensing to my intuition. She is the feeling that complements my thinking and the perception to my judgment. She’s also turbulent where I’m assertive. She’s an “Explorer” who uses “Social Engagement” in her day-to-day life. She is “The Entertainer.” Her type is also known as some of the most generous. Other words used to describe an ESFP are performers and fun lovers. And what’s their motto? “You only go around once.”
But sometimes I silence her basic personality. Her energy comes from being around people and social engagement. She entertains and performs, and those she does well. They are things I don’t love because I am the opposite. However, I must embrace what I loved at the beginning. I benefit from her generosity and fun-loving demeanor. It’s clear I better find a way to gain from all else and remember that if we’re “Only going around once,” it’s not so bad with her.
The point isn’t to rely solely on a test to improve in life, although it helps. It helps remind me that everybody is different. What my strengths and weaknesses are, hers are about the opposite. Together, that is unstoppable. It would be if I let it be.
I urge study of your personality and those around you. Will my next nine years look a lot different from the last? I positively hope so. What’s good can always be better because “There’s always room for improvement.”