We blog a lot about personality types, and how different parts of your personality type can help you make better decisions in your life. That said, not everyone knows the basics of MBTI personality type, so in this next series we’re going to cover some of the foundation of MBTI type theory and the preference pairs. While much of this information is foundational, we will have a few tidbits and tips in the blogs that you probably didn’t know (unless you’re an MBTI expert).
But before we dive into the series, we wanted to share a few reasons why this stuff matters. We may be a little biased, but we think this information can change your life for the better. It’s about much more than Extraverts and Introverts, or which Star Wars character you might share your four letter MBTI type with. Here are six reasons why knowing your personality type can change your life (for the better!):
- It answers the question of WHY
Personality type can help you better understand yourself and those around you. On the most basic level, knowing your personality type can help you answer the personal “why” question. You think a certain way and feel a certain way, but often it’s hard to understand why especially when other people aren’t thinking or feeling the same way. Why do you feel more comfortable planning out your vacation while someone else feels uncomfortable or even anxious planning out their trip and would rather have no schedule at all? Why you can network with the best of them and you’re not shy but you crave solitude after an hour or two of meet-and-greets. Understanding why you think, feel and act the way you do not only gives you piece of mind but…(continue to #2)
- It helps you figure out HOW
Now that you know the why, you can use that information to apply to present and future situations (and even look back into the past) to better understand how you can achieve more than you have. Knowing your personality type can help you find better answers to questions like, “how can I be happier”, “how do I find a career I’m passionate about”, “how can I better communicate with my (husband, wife, sister, mother, brother, father, friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, boss, coworker, etc.)”, “how do I stay motivated?” or “how can I make better decisions.” The amazing thing about understanding your personality is that the insights are actionable and applicable to nearly every situation in your life and can help you change for the better.
- Personality + Situation = Behavior
You can’t predict what sort of situations you’ll find yourself in over your lifetime, but you probably have a good idea that at some point there will be conflict, at some point you’ll be stressed, but hopefully most of the time the situations will be positive. What you can learn about yourself is your personality, and then knowing your personality and reading about different situations, you can start to predict your own behavior. Then you can change your behavior – which is ultimately what a lot of us want to do to be happier. For example, maybe when you’re stressed you tend to binge on Netflix and eat things you know you shouldn’t, or you start catastrophizing possible future outcomes in your mind. Knowing your personality and what common behaviors are associated with certain situations (conflict, stress, change, love) you can learn to stop behavior you don’t want to happen and try other behaviors instead of just letting these behaviors run on autopilot.
- Want to be happier? Start here.
There are things you can change, and things you can’t. When you’re looking at ways of improving your life and ultimately becoming happier, you have to look at the things you have control over. You don’t have control over certain parts of your personality, BUT you have control over changing your environments, your schedule and how you spend your time, and what your behavior is. Knowing more about your unique personality can help you be happier by first telling you how you’re most comfortable based on your personality preferences and second how best to play to your own strengths and address your own weaknesses, whether that be in your career, in your free time, in your relationships (and speaking of relationships…)
- It’s about YOU, and it’s also about THEM.
Learning about your Myers-Briggs personality preferences can tell you a lot about yourself, a lot about yourself if we’re being honest. But another added benefit of knowing about your personality type is to better understand them – the people around you whom you work with, interact with, go to family gatherings with, fight with, date, marry, take care of, pretty much anyone you have a social interaction with. By understanding your personality, you also understand what your personality is not, and can start to see differences in those around you in a deeper way. You have a language to think about and talk about differences in what energizes you, how you make decisions, how you take in information, and more. If you’ve understood the concept of “self-awareness”, think of this as the next logical step – “others-awareness.”
- Ready for the “Ah-ha!” moments?
Once you have a grasp of the foundation of personality type, if you want to use this knowledge for power just look around you. Start observing your own behaviors, your ups and downs, and the interactions you have with people around you, and then think about it in terms of personality type. We call these “ah-ha!” moments and as corny as it sounds, people who learn their personality type and understand the basic framework get these all the time. Situations that were frustrations with other people before become clear, understanding is at an all-time high, and you begin to make changes in your life for the better because you’re understanding what you need at your core and how you best function in the rest of the world. Pretty powerful if you ask us.