MBTI Part 3: Understanding Your Significant Other

Knowing your own Myers Briggs personality type and your partner’s type can do so much to deepen your relationship and your understanding of each other. You can recognize tangible ways in which your partner is similar to and different from you, and through that improve understanding and communication.

I thought that the best way to explain this would be by example. I, as well as my friends Aubrey and Eva, wanted to share a little bit about our relationships and the process of learning about our significant others through Myers Briggs. We all have different similarities and differences in our relationships, so we’ll explain what those look like in real life.


Megan and Josh – INFJ-T / INFJ-A

Like I’ve talked about in previous articles, Josh and I’s personality types lead to a lot of similarities in our relationship. These help us in having a deep connection and lead to a lot of shared opinions and preferences. Realizing that we are both INFJs made a lot of sense in how we see the world so similarly.

As far as personality types, we are just different in our Turbulent/Assertive tendencies. T or A are often added as a fifth letter to a Myer’s Briggs personality type. A person who is turbulent will tend to put much more pressure on themselves and expect perfection. They tend to struggle more with insecurity and their strong-suit is putting in the hard work needed to succeed. Those who are assertive don’t usually put as much pressure on themselves, and sometimes struggle with staying motivated. Their strength is in their confidence and assertiveness to pursue success.

I’m turbulent and Josh is assertive. This difference has brought a lot of balance to our relationship and has taught me so much. My turbulent tendencies lead to perfectionism and anxiety, so I’ve definitely needed balance in this area. Whenever I’m stressed and overwhelmed I talk about it with Josh, and his perspective gives me a sense of peace. I am still the same driven person who expects a lot from myself, but from hearing and seeing a different perspective I’ve been able to work on balancing my expectations of myself.

There are times when this difference also leads to conflict. Having different expectations of ourselves means we have different expectations of each other, and sometimes those are quite different which can lead to frustration or miscommunication. But understanding that we simply think differently helps us to understand each other, intentionally look through a different perspective, and benefit from the balance it brings.


Aubrey and Jonny – INFP / ISFP (From Aubrey’s Perspective)

Jonny’s personality was a mystery to me. I knew he was an I and P, that was obvious to me but I don’t think I knew him or Myers Briggs enough at the time to predict the rest. I think he actually tested as an INFP at first, which is my type. I knew that couldn’t be right cause I intuitively knew there were differences between us. We read ISFP to see if a similar type would be closer, and it fit perfectly. Discovering that this was Jonny’s personality was really helpful in understanding the conflicts we often had as well as why we felt so similar or “on the same page” most the time. So our only personality difference is S/N, which makes for a lot of commonality: stuff we like to do together, what we find funny, what opinions we have, and so forth. But the way we approach day to day life and view the future feels almost totally different. Jonny is an S which makes him focused on the here and now. He loves accomplishing tasks and focusing on self-improvement in tangible ways like working out and learning new skills and information.

His type is also “The Artist,” so creating is important to him. I also love art and feel the need to create but in a different way, more so as a desire to express something deep inside that is hard to express any other way. Personally as an N I am nearly always thinking of the future, far into the future. I also see life as either being purpose-driven or pointless. Everything I do I try to see how it is helping me towards a better reality for me and others. I always feel the need for a more expansive, more meaningful life and can become easily dissatisfied with things as they are. This is hard when it comes to talking about the future. I could talk about the future all day, but focusing too much on the future gets stressful for jonny. He has a one-day-at-a-time approach that can clash with my desire to dream upward and onward. For awhile this felt wrong to me that he looked at life this way, but now I see it as a normal thing that can actually help me be healthier.

I can love Jonny better in our differences now that I know they come from a difference in personality. There is nothing wrong with either of our ways of viewing life, so there is no need to be angry or condemn each other for seeing the world, life or each other “wrong.” Having these opposite tendencies can be a balancing act at times, and it is our most common source of conflict. When we are mindful of our differences, though, they are beneficial. He helps me breathe and remember I have and am enough for today. And I, when I’m healthy, can help him see the potential for the future.


Eva and Cason – ENFP / ISTJ (From Eva’s perspective)

CasonDaire, my boyfriend, is most similar to an ISTJ-T. He has many J-like qualities: he desires a plan of action, is normally very decisive in his thoughts and decisions, and is uneasy in new situations until he adjusts. He communicates like a T, but is unafraid to express emotion through tears, clearly tells me when I’ve hurt his feelings, and is incredibly emotionally supportive for my ENFP self.

Though I can indeed be over-emotional and all that jazz, Cason and I can both be pretty rational and enjoy intellectual topics that we can ultimately relate to our relationship with each other (which often involves examining male vs female) as well as with other people. We both love people, but my F drives me to pursue relationships with others in ways that he is unfamiliar or uncomfortable with. Sometimes his discomfort is a healthy reminder for me in establishing boundaries in friendships and sometimes, I hope I challenge him to more audaciously love people.

I always laugh that Cason is nearest an ISTJ because that was the type that I had LEAST hoped to be paired with, but he really does offer me so many ways that I can grow in a way that isn’t condescending. There are many difference between the two of us, which can be seen more innocently in our humors, but really do agree on so many foundational things in our theology and our futures, that choosing to love him is one of the finest opportunities I’ve ever been presented with.


We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our experiences and we hope this encourages you to appreciate the commonalities and differences in your own relationship! If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to find out your Myers Briggs type as well as your partner’s!

In Christ’s Love,

Megan

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