The MBTI Personality Test is an attempt by psychologists to categorize different personality types. The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personal inventory that is meant to make the theory of psychological types described by Carl Jung understandable and accessible to people's lives.((The Meyers-Briggs Foundation: MBTI
But did you know that you can actually use this data to improve your relationships?
In this article we will describe the MBTI Personality Test, discuss what the different personality types mean, and talk about how you can use your personality type to improve the quality of your relationships.
What is the MBTI Personality Test?
The MBTI Personality Test is a short test (about 93 questions) that should only take about ten to fifteen minutes to complete. A free version of the test can be found here
. The official test can be taken here
, but be aware that it will cost you $50.
The test consists of questions that ask you your preferences about how you interact with people and the world. There are four main personality types measured by the test: introversion vs. extroversion, sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling, and judging vs. perceiving.
When you are finished the test, it places you into a category for each preference. Your personality type, then, is a four letter combo (i.e. INFJ). The web has lots of information for each personality type.
Meaning of different personality types
There are 16 different personality types (according to the test).((Personality Page: High-Level Description of the Sixteen Personality Types
)) The frequency of each type varies, but it looks like the most common types are ISFJ and ESFJ.((Career Planner: How Rare Is Your Personality Type?
Each personality type has its own description, but each letter represents a different aspect of your personality. Here are what each of the letters stand for and what they mean:
- Introvert (I) vs. Extrovert (E). An introvert is someone who finds social interactions to be emotionally draining. If you're the type of person who needs some alone time to recharge after a party or social gathering, then you are most likely an introvert. An extrovert, on the other hand, finds social interaction to be emotionally fulfilling and they find themselves charged up by social interaction. (NOTE: Nothing about introversion or extroversion suggests you like or dislike social interaction, despite common misconceptions.)
- Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N). Sensors focus on the present. They perceive things through the five senses and see everything as concrete, realistic, and literal. Intuitive people live in the future. They process information through patterns and impressions and see things as abstract, idealistic, and theoretical.
- Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F). Thinking people are objective. They make decisions based on facts and are logical, rational, and impersonal. Feeling people are subjective. They make decisions based on principles and values and are passionate, empathetic, and caring of others.
- Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P). Judging people think sequentially. They value order and organization and are decisive, organized, and structured. Perceiving people are adaptive and flexible. They are spontaneous and random thinkers and are adaptable and flexible.
It's also important to note that many of these personality traits exist on a sliding scale. This means that you might at some point in your life be on one side of the scale and, at other points in your life, on the other side of the scale. Your personality changes through time and experience.
How to improve relationships with the MBTI Personality Test
When looking for relationships, I often recommend three things: know yourself, love yourself, and be yourself.
1. Know yourself
This is where the MBTI Personality Test is useful. Take the test for yourself and figure out what personality type you are. Remember, this isn't a "set it and forget it" kind of thing.
Your personality can change in very subtle ways over the years. So, take it more than once.
2. Love yourself
Once you know your personality type, you can become more aware of who you really are.
One of the hardest things we can do for ourselves is treat ourselves with the same kindness and respect as we treat others.
How can you ever expect someone else to love you if you don't love yourself?
3. Be yourself
This is the most common dating advice, and people have been giving it for as long as there have been relationships.
The benefit of being who you really are is that you will attract people to you who are compatible with you. When it comes to dating, compatibility is a lot more solid than compromise.
Don't compromise who you are just to be with someone.
What do you value most in a relationship?
It's hard to summarize a person with just a word, but each of the Meyers-Briggs personality types has a single quality that they value more than others. Here is a list of the personality types and the traits they value most:((Well Good: What Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type Needs Most from Romantic Relationships
- ISTJ: Dedication
- ISFJ: Safety
- ESFJ: Enthusiasm
- ESTJ: Teamwork
- ISFP: Freedom
- ISTP: Friendship
- ESFP: Passion
- ESTP: Choice
- ENFP: Encouragement
- INFJ: Soulmates
- INFP: Acceptance
- ENFJ: Support
- INTP: Intellect
- ENTJ: Excellence
- ENTP: Autonomy
- INTJ: Vision
Remember that this is an approximation based on psychology and other various personality traits. There are no surefire ways to make sure that you wind up in the right relationship.
However, using the MBTI Personality Test is a great way to see how compatible you are with people.
If you are one personality type, you might find the value on the list that you think you'd be most compatible with. Look at all of the other types on the list to see which value stands out the most to you as something you'd like to have in a relationship.
For example, if you are an INTJ and value vision, you might also value Enthusiasm. So, an ESFJ personality type might be most compatible with you.
At the end of the day, this is mostly just a guide. At the very least you can get an idea for what personality type you have and discover a few things about yourself in the process.