Overview: Defined as a categorization of behavioral outcomes of an individual’s industrial sized mental mixing vat, I believe that personality is half genetic and half learned, being established early in life when our brains are more malleable. That is to say half nature, half nurture and there is absolutely nothing new about this opinion as it is widespread throughout academia.
I would venture to guess that the evolution of different human personality types might have been a response to the ever-increasing complexity and demands of a social and cultural evolution on the mind of man. Of course, this is pure speculation on my part and without a time machine to go back and confirm a progression of complexity, we will never know for sure. One thing is certain; since writing became fashionable, humans have sought to explain behavior by categorizing personalities into distinct types and for good reason.
If I could only pick one question for lovers to ask each other several times each day it would be: Is the concept of us valuable enough for you to make a minor concession to the predisposed behavior of your personality that you are about to display? The collective consciousness of lovers is created in such ways and, before long, the needs, wants, and desires of each partner are placed before the other creating unbreakable bonds along the physical, emotional, and intellectual continuums of connection. What establishes bonds in this manner, different and so strong, is that they are incredibly equitable for both partners, within the boundaries of each comfort zone, and are akin to trust during development. Additionally, they are established over time throughout the infatuation and negotiation phases of the love relationship so, in essence, they mutually rewrite some of the personality software subroutines of both partners.
I believe these connections establish new neural pathways within the brain and the habit of focusing behavioral responses on “I” becomes a habitual personality response focused on “we” thus, continually reinforcing these connections. Once established, these connections effortlessly produce the reward of collective enlightenment and the joyful fulfillment of an endless infatuation phase for both partners, true love.
Personality Types: Differences in personality traits and preferences among lovers can screw up a relationship more often than any other factor. More specifically, it is through these differences that communication breaks down. Many people seek partners with compatible personalities in order to avoid the pain of a bad or non-communicative relationship but compatibility is not the key, understanding is. I believe that it is the personality differences between partners that help us expand our individual comfort zones, grow our minds, and experience fulfillment; if we first learn how to communicate with different personality types.
The mother/daughter team of Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, developed the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) system for personality typing in the late 1950s, which is still widely used today. The MBTI produces sixteen personality types by combining four personality preferences that are used to categorize key areas of human behavior: direction of purpose, information processing, decision-making, and approach. Considering this inventory of personality characteristics, the following four assumptions can be made:
Individuals prefer their purpose or energy to be directed inward or outward, introverts versus extroverts.
Individuals prefer to gather and process information through sensing of facts and data points or broader assumptions and perception, sensors versus intituitors.
Individuals prefer to make decisions based on meeting personal goals or how their decisions will affect others, thinkers versus feelers.
How individuals attempt to control life, either through organizing or by keeping options open, judgers versus perceivers.
Loving Introverts and Extroverts
If you are an extrovert about to enter or already in a love relationship with an introvert, be prepared to be underwhelmed over and over again. Try not to push too hard socially, rather slow down and smell the roses over some quite, just the two of you, alone time. Think back to how you felt when you peed your pants in kindergarten or when the fifth grade teacher made fun of you in front of the entire class or when you showed up at the prom with a bunch of pimples on your face. That is how an introvert constantly feels when pushed into social situations and, if you push too hard, the bonds of true love will not form.
Help your introvert to understand the rewards of an expanded social comfort zone by first earning their trust. Let them know that you will be happy to take the spotlight so they won’t have to and that you will be willing to retreat when they have had enough social stimulation. Consider that, in order to foster true love with your introvert and reap its benefits, you will have to move more than half way along the social line of connection and help coach them to that point of equilibrium. Remember, their motivation comes from within and you must slowly earn their trust to help them understand how to become a more complete mental human.
Conversely, the introvert must be prepared to be overwhelmed, while at the same time try to be open to new experiences and expand tolerance for social events. Think back to how you felt when you bought home straight “A”s on your report card or when you had your first kiss. You probably did not mind sharing those experiences and excitement and being the focus of attention for a little while. That is how an extrovert feels every second of every day. Help your extrovert realize that not every party is the World’s Fair and coach them to understand the value of some time out for self-reflection. Also, consider that, in order to experience the benefits of true love, you will have to move more than half way along the social line of connection and open up your feelings (they may be hurt) to help move your extrovert to a reasonable point of equilibrium. Remember, their motivation comes from the outside world so to earn their trust you will have to let them know that they are worth expanding your social horizons.
Loving Sensors and Intuitors:
If you are a sensor about to enter into or already in a relationship with an intutior be prepared to be confused ‑ a lot. You may watch the same movie, read the same book or listen to the same music and walk away with a very different opinion of the experience. When you ask why, your intuitor may have difficulty explaining their opinion in understandable terms. Think about how much you like chocolate or cake but eat less than you may want because of the impending weight gain. That is exactly how an intuitor approaches every behavioral situation; with thought aimed at the whole picture and the future, and it may be difficult for you to accept their conclusions and actions.
In conversations, an intutior may shift the subject matter seemingly at random because they see the new subject as an important component or a means to an end to deliver a point. In order to arrive at a true love relationship with an intuitor, you may have to continually seek clarification and be patient. Help them find a common language using practical words that you easily understand. You will have to move considerably along the emotional continuum of connection and learn to trust in their subconscious gut feelings. Additionally, you will have to help them take time out to enjoy the now and help them move toward simplicity in order to find an informational equilibrium that will be rewarding for both of you in communication.
The flip side of the coin will call for the intuitor to become more grounded in the present tense and accepting of simple communication at face value. You will have to realize that a smile or affectionate touch from a sensing lover does not always mean that they want to make mad passionate love in the next half hour. Think about what it is like to be in a dark room and trying to see, or what it might feel like to hear someone over the sound of a close jet engine. This is exactly what it is like for your sensor. They want to understand you but cannot see or hear your perceptual communication. To fall into a true love relationship with a sensor you will have to savor some moments more often than makes you comfortable. You will have to learn to trust their senses and be prepared to discuss details to their satisfaction, although they do not interest you.
Additionally, you will be required to explain why you take obvious actions and arrive at obvious opinions over and over again. Remember that your actions and opinions are not obvious to your sensor partner and they do not understand how you take in information or why your focus in always forward. You will have to help them find a common language and explore their subconscious signals. You may have to “literally” teach them about perceptual communication and such hidden languages including facial expressions, body language, and other non-verbal behaviors in order to find equilibrium along the emotional continuum of connection and its subordinate lines of connection.
Loving Feelers and Thinkers
If you are a Feeler, currently in or about to enter into a love relationship with a thinker, be prepared to have your feelings hurt and be told how you should feel about things. As silly as this notion sounds, it is exactly how thinkers cope with and trump their perceptual intelligence. When it comes to decision making they have learned to discount their feelings for sound decision-making models based in logic. They may even believe that they can decide not to feel a certain way on any topic as well as talk themselves out of an emotional attachment to a subject.
Feelers will need to have the patience of Job in order to convince a Thinker that feelings are important and it may ultimately take a shoe to the head to produce an emotional attachment. Consider that your Thinker will make sound decisions for you as a couple and that animals, trees, and even other people may not have an emotional investment in some of those decisions. For decisions concerning less important matters, try to see your Thinker as efficient and not devoid of emotional consideration. Help the Thinker understand your emotions by explaining your process over and over again. In order to experience the enlightenment of true love, you will have to move considerably along the intellectual continuum of connection and its subordinate lines. You may also have to be willing to give up some control over everyday decisions including entertainment, financial matters, lifestyle, and education.
From the other side of the aisle, as a Thinker involved with a Feeler, be prepared to experience the frustration of indecision. Think back to a time when you made an extremely important decision that could have gone either way with ramifications for a wide variety of people and material things. Think about how you carefully considered all parameters and outcomes prior to rendering a decision and even then you were not 100% sure that the chosen course was best. That is how your Feeler may pine over the simplest propositions. Remember, there are many times when people’s feelings do matter, especially those of your lover. Take a break from the speed of logic and learn to trust your Feeler’s process. Consider that less than five percent of decisions in a relationship are really important, so make a concerted effort to give up control over the other 95%. By expanding your comfort zone to include your Feeler’s people-related factors, you may position your relationship to reap the rewards of true love.
Loving Judgers and Perceivers
If you are a judger about to enter or already in a love relationship with a perceiver be prepared to miss some appointments, receive fewer phone calls than you would like, and have some priorities adjusted at random for no apparent or good reason. You will be utterly amazed and frustrated by how your perceiver can be blown by the wind and allow the slightest suggestion from a complete stranger to change their daily itinerary. Although difficult to understand at first, you will have to realize that their lack of consideration for your time is not personal. Think about how much fun it was as a child to go through a haunted house attraction not knowing when or from where that next thrill would come. That is exactly how your perceiver approaches life, by allowing the thrills to come to them.
You may be required to view time as a Dali painting versus the staunch clock face of Parliament’s Big Ben. Make good use of the time you will, undoubtedly, spend waiting for them and try not to create negative fantasies about what they may be doing as they are probably not doing anything that you would consider of consequence.
You may have to move along all three continuums of connection, physical, emotional, and intellectual to find equilibrium in your relationship and plant the seeds of true love. Expand your comfort zone to include some daily spontaneity as I am confident you will enjoy your perceiver more, especially along the physical line of making random love.
For the perceiver, be prepared to apologize all the time and be judged harshly for your lack of organization. Consider how easy it is to organize the following set of integers, (2,4,6,7,1,3,9,8,5) into counting order, (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9). That is exactly how your Judger approaches all facets of life. You will have to open up your mind and personal space to some of the benefits of organization. Realize that your Judger is not angry with you but with an element of your behavior and try to understand that, rigidity is extremely important to them. Consider that they judge themselves most harshly of all and their judgments are not personal or meant to hurt you. Help them open their closed mind that you so easily recognize by rewarding signs of flexibility.
You may be required to allow yourself extra time to be on time and keep more of your commitments than will make you comfortable. You may need to expand your comfort zone on the intellectual continuum of connection by accepting the boredom of a familiar schedule in order to create an environment where true love can blossom with your Judger.