- Gender and Relationships
Remove Communication Blocks by Personality Type
Relationships can become tricky because often we have a block of "our own making" that hinders the intercommunication. We tend to first assume it is the mate or friend's problem and wish they would, in a essence, get on our track.
However, each of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types of the MBTI® has its own inherent strength that can become a problem when it comes to relating to and communicating with others.
Remove the block to communication
That's right! Our own strength can become a weakness when we don't manage it well. And, it can be like trying to move a heavy rock out of the way.
Reminds me, too, of the following, when I think of the block even in Christian relationships being referred to as a "log".
First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
One of the first things to consider, therefore, is whether our inherent strength has become a weakness or hindrance. Has what is normally a strength in my personality become a hindrance in my relationship with the other?
There are many other relational hindrances, granted, but this is a very important one to consider.
Following is what a strength for each personality type looks like when it becomes a hindrance—a RELATIONSHIP BLOCK—and what can be done to remove it.
How to remove the block
To unblock your relationships ...
What can tend to block your relationships ...
ENFJ - Allow alternative views
Make allowance for your mate and others some to have their own take on things and questions about yours. Allow room for disagreement.
ENFJ - Problems: Overpersonalize questions
You ENFJs are most persuasive. Your usual assumption is that your mate is in complete agreement. Therefore, when he or she raises a few normal questions, you overpersonalize it and get very hurt.
ESFJ - Show anger!
The world is not going to come to an end if you show anger. Don't be afraid to fight.
ESFJ - Problems: Avoid facing problems
You ESFJs are the most harmonizing and desire to mother and smother. Therefore, you tend to sweep problems under the carpet, rather than face them. You reach too soon for the chicken soup!
ENFP - Embrace today's problems
Don't escape so quickly into your imagination, or into thoughts of the future. Embrace the present and try to deal with and solve your current problems.
ENFP - Problem: Escape the present
You ENFPs are most optimistic. Therefore, rather than face a disagreeable part of the relationship, you'll seduce yourself and others away from the present into a "happier place" in your imagination.
ESFP - Stay on track
Remember your routine commitments and don't completely jump track. Stay on track trying to add only those things that won't pull you off the track of routine.
ESFP - Problem: Get sidetracked
You ESFPs are most generous and very good at meeting the needs of many people at once. Therefore you tend to get sidetracked into so many directions that the routine needs of your mate get neglected.
For example, a parent who agrees at the last minute to take one kid to baseball practice at 6 and another to the gym at 7 leaves their mate at home waiting for 6 o'clock dinner.
ESTP - Settle down
Give more attention to "settling" events. Once in a while, be on time. Hang around when things are boring, showing respect for family traditions by doing things just the way they were done before.
ESTP - Problem: Easily bored
You ESTPs are most unpredictable. You love excitement, surprise and variety and so when this is lacking you easily become bored. However, that is not always comfortable for your mate.
ISFP - Use words
Once in a while, use the written or spoken word to communicate your affection. Stick a note in the muffin, or on the flowers that says, "I love you."
ISFP - Problem: Avoid words
You ISFPs are the most artistic. Therefore, you think words are cheap and would rather express your affection in more tangible ways.
You'd like to, say, back muffins, or bring home a huge bouquet of flowers.
ISTP - Be impractical
Don't argue with yourself. Go ahead and act on your affectionate impulses sometimes.
ISTP - Problem: Pragmatic-ness
You ISTPs are most skillful with tools. Therefore, when your creative ideas come to mind, you put them down as being impractical or stupidly flighty.
Lots of exciting ideas pass through your mind, like building your spouse a coffee table, or entering, "I love you"into their PC screen-saver. But then your pragmatic self dismisses them.
ISFJ - Be more assertive
For the relationship to develop, it is more constructive to engage in disagreements. Try to be present in the exchange by being more assertive and less hesitant to show your feelings.
Duty at any price is not fair to you, or even the other person.
ISFJ - Problem: Hesitent
You ISFJs are the most loyal. Your mate therefore would probably like to tell you, "I appreciate your years of loyalty, but I wish you'd get mad once in a while."
Getting angry with you ISFJs is like eating cotton candy; when bitten into it disappears!
ENTP - Just DO it!
For the good of the relationship, don't worry about beating the system. Just do what needs to be done -- without further delay.
ENTP - Problem: Stuck on inventing
You ENTPs are the most inventive. You see details, in the house for example, that need your attention. However, instead of doing them, you try to design a better system that will attend to them!
When your mate confronts you with the unfinished work, you tend to get "one-upy" and won't give in and do it.
INTP - Speak from the heart
Rather than analysis, just share the fact that you feel love, not only understand it.
INTP - Problem: Speak from the head
You INTPs are most logical. Therefore, when you try to use your thinking to express your feelings or love, the meaning can "get lost in translation". You also tend to focus on just analytical thoughts about the relationship
INFP - Offer advice
Don't be so tentative in offering advice, consolation and appreciation to your mate.
INFP - Problem: No confidence in helping
You INFPs are most non-directive and have a great gift for helping people understand their feelings and fee better about themselves. However, you have no confidence that you are being of any help.
ESTJ - Drop the "Macho"
Try not to give affection with one hand and take it back with the other. Just come out and say "Good job," or "I love you."
ESTJ - Problem: "Macho" giving
You ESTJs are the most hard-charging. Therefore, you are tempted to give affection with one hand and then turn right around and take back with the other!
You do this in a "macho" way like, with a slap on the back, or saying something abrasive like, "You're alright for a _____."
INTJ - Give a hand
Don't let them sink repeatedly. Give your mate support and assistance ... even without their having to ask you for it! They will likely still learn how to do it.
INTJ - Problem: Very independent
You INTJs are most independent. Therefore, you likely expect the same of your mate. You tend to let him or her sink three times to learn how to swim!
INFJ - Push yourself
We INFJs (I'm one too!) need to push ourselves to give when our mate needs it, not only when we feeling inspired. We can't always lean on our main motivator of inspiration.
INFJ - Problem: Claming up
You INFJs are most empathic and are so aware of people's feelings that you seldom need an explanation. However, though you are so attuned to the interpersonal dynamics going on, you don't always do something about them.
You know very well your mate needs a stroke of an "I love you," but you have other things on your mind. It's not your day to give strokes, so you clam up.
ENTJ - Drop the caustic wit
Try not to take your affection back and just come out and share your softness by itself. Without the caustic wit, say, "I love you".
ENTJ - Problem: Sarcastic giving
You ENTJs are the most commandeering. Therefore, you are tempted take back any affection you've given. You do this by showing affection with sarcasm like, "You like the kissing just to pass the time."
ISTJ - Praise good behavior
Train yourself to give overt pats on the head and words of appreciation, even for small things. Add this to your To Do list, and make it a rule to say "Well done", or "I love you"... at least once a week. It's part of your duty toward your mate.
ISTJ - Problem: Don't praise
Yes ISTJs are the most strong and silent. Therefore, you tend to expect strength and good behavior in others and so don't see it as something to praise.
Easy to read book on types
A basic well laid-out and readable introduction to personality types, based on the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
© 2010 Deidre Shelden