I can quite get enough of personality tests. I’m obsessed. I could talk about Enneagram and Myers Briggs until I’m blue in the face. Chances are, I’ve tried to figure out your Myers Briggs letters in our first couple interactions.
There has been a lot of research done about the role that our personalities play in our relationships – romantic and otherwise. Smart people have all types of theories about which types are most compatible.
I believe that personality tests have their place in helping us understand ourselves. I wouldn’t be obsessed with them if I didn’t. Knowing my personality type (ENFP & Ennegram 7) has helped me better know how I’m wired, and why I respond the way I do to certain situations. But, I also think we can use our personality to let us off the hook for developing meaningful relationships.
Introverts need companionship just as much as extroverts do. Humans are relational beings, and desire interaction with others. An introvert may leave a social gathering tired and in need of alone time, but that does not mean that he should avoid attending parties. It simply means that he needs to be aware of how he recharges — alone time — and plan accordingly.
Extroverts should also be cognizant of how much time they spend with others. Quality time to connect with friends is not the same as spending a lot of time with them. While the temptation may be to have all your favorite people in one place — I speak from personal experience — having them all in one room doesn’t mean that you’ve actually deepened the relationship. It may serve an extrovert’s friendships better to devote time to coffee dates or smaller gatherings.
Personality types can be key in self-development, but they should never be an excuse for unintentional relationships.
We have to be so careful that we don’t allow our personality type or even our preferences prevent us from making new friends and deepening existing friendships.