The Introvert/Extrovert Relationship

There are a lot of silly online quizzes, but the Myers-Briggs Personality quiz is not one of them.  Based on the ideas founded by legendary psychiatrist, Carl Jung, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personal assessment of oneself based on four categories and provides a deep insight into aspects of one’s personality.  The four categories of preferences are general attitude (extroversion versus introversion), perception (sensing versus intuition), judging (thinking versus feeling), and the judging-perceiving relationship (judging versus perceiving).   Most people cannot be categorized so cut and dry, so your test results are a percentage of each type of preference.  I took this test because I was a self-described introvert, but I didn’t really know what that meant.  The test took about 15 minutes and my results were expected for the  general attitude: 89% introvert.  The other aspects were interesting, too.  It was like reading a very precise and accurate horoscope without the predictions.  I was ISTJ: 89% introvert (I), 75% sensing (S), 1% thinking (T), and 33% judging (J).  My husband wanted to try it out, too, expecting to get a high percentage of extroversion (E).  And he sure did get an expected outcome: 100% extrovert.  He was ENFP: 100% extrovert (E), 62% intuition (N), 38% feeling (F), and 11% perceiving (P).  So, the complete opposite.

Well, Paula Abdul was onto something when she sang that “opposites attract.”  We’ve been together 10 years and have a very strong relationship, but are totally different people.  We have a fair share of things in common, but we also have our own individual interests that are not shared by the other.  We communicate in different ways.  Communication is such an integral part of a successful relationship whether it’s among friends, family members, or life partners.  When we compared our results, I was mildly concerned, at first.  We already have the ‘men are from mars, women are from venus’ gender dichotomy of differences and now we seem to be polar opposite on the personality spectrum.  How would we ever get each other?  But, we already do get each other. What this test should do is allow you to understand yourself better and understand other personality types better, not simply just categorize you as a certain type of person.  Once I established myself as ISTJ, I was able to understand why I handle situations the way I do and easily express that to my partner.  I was also able to see how he approaches things the way he does.  It helps you to develop a deeper understanding of the depths of one’s personality.  And a better understanding of someone leads to better communication which can result in a strong relationship.

An off-shoot of the Myers-Briggs test is a marriage test where you can plug in your percentages and see your compatibility.  I was confident that no matter what the outcome, we were compatible.  According to the marriage test, having contrary personality types is actually good.  We rated in between satisfactory and good; good being the highest rating of compatibility.  Phew!  You don’t have to take the test too seriously, but you can’t ignore the remarkable acumen that the test provides.  Give it a try and if you are not happy with the results just chalk it up to one of those silly internet quizzes.



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