Have you ever taken a personality test before? It seems like a lot of employers are using it to weed out applications if they know they need a certain type of person for a position... Or maybe they'll use it in order to help build a team. But have you ever thought it might be helpful for your marriage?
The results definitely aren't perfect, but it can really help you to understand your partner better, how they respond to certain situations and how you can love them well (and vise versa!).
Stephen and I did a few different types of personality tests while we were in college and used them in premarital counseling. One was the Myers Briggs profile (You can take a shorter, less thorough profile test HERE that gives you the same type of results as Myers Briggs).
So what type of personality do I have and what does Stephen have? (Cue cheesy graphic off google)
So I guess the real question is, how does this affect our marriage? I think you can probably tell from the results that we are different in almost every way (HA!). So yes, it has a very large impact. But that impact isn't all bad. Honestly, a lot of it is good for us. We are able to play different roles, help each other and truly be partners in every sense of the word!
But it does cause some issues at times. (And this is where I think it's super helpful to know what your partners personality is and have some cheesy graphics to refer to when needed!)
After taking a look at our personality results, our premarital counselor told us that we would struggle with certain things after we got married. Pretty vague, but also oddly specific things. We both kind of looked at each other and thought, "Ehhh maybe. But we're different than most couples! We basically grew up together! We KNOW each other."
Now I kind of laugh at how naive we were. And yes, we DEFINITELY struggle with those vague but oddly specific things.
Stephen is loyal and stable. He is the most consistent person you will ever meet. He flourishes when he can follow directions and keep a routine. He's also really good at sticking with things. And because of all of that he's REALLY good at what he does! Whatever it is! If he isn't great at it when he starts, he will be by the time he's done! #rockstarstatus
Me? Well.. Yeah, pretty much none of Stephen's golden attributes have made there way to my personality. I mean, not that I can't be loyal or stable or consistent. But even just saying those words makes me laugh. I'm all over the place. I'm spontaneous and impulsive. I crave adventure and change. Basically, I'm really good at stressing Stephen out.
So what did our counselor tell us? To sum it up she said, "Stephen, you're stable. You like things to stay the same. You're a steadfast guy. Hannah, you're a free bird. You like adventure and change. You've got a wild heart. So what does this look like in marriage? It looks like Hannah wanting to go on adventures and Stephen wanting to cultivate a healthy family at home. This leads to Hannah feeling trapped and Stephen having anxiety about keeping things stable on the home front. Both are good things on there own. But you will need to work out how to balance these two extremes in order to have a healthy marriage."
Yup. Pretty much ALL OF THAT.
So why am I sharing our private marriage struggles with you? Because you're probably single, dating, engaged or married. And whatever category you fall into, you will eventually have close relationships with people who have completely different personality types then you do. And it helps to be at least a little bit prepared before you're caught off guard and go into FIGHT or FLIGHT mode. Relax. Take a deep breath and a few steps backwards. Re-visit your personality types and see where issues are really coming from. How can you love your partner better? Show them grace in a certain area? Where might you be able to come to a good compromise?
You and your partner aren't fighting against each other. You're fighting FOR each other.
WOW. That was a lot... But I hope it helps you! And I'd LOVE to hear your personality test stories. Or, if this is the first time you've taken one - how did it help you understand yourself & your partner better? Seriously, I'd love to know! firstname.lastname@example.org :)