Last week I shared with you a bit more about personality type and how I’ve been finding it so helpful in my own life. Today I’d like a to share an exchange that I had yesterday that just made me laugh, as it was such a clear example of personality type and how it’s expressed between two people.
So, my husband and I were getting ready to leave for an event and we were bringing a crockpot full of soup. I have an old-school style crockpot, without the locking lid, so transporting soup is always a bit tricky. So, I asked “How are we going to transport the soup?”.
Right there, as an NP (Intuitive Perceiver type), I was using my primary information gathering process of extroverted intuition. Extroverted intuition is about all of the possibilities — considering “what could be”, the desire to always explore more options and possibilities. In my mind there were lots of options for transporting the soup and how fun it is to explore them all.
My husband is an SJ (Sensor Judger type), and his primary decision making process is introverted sensing. So his response to me was simply “What did we do last year?”. Introverted sensing focuses on remembered facts and life experiences – so what has been done before. Naturally, that was his ‘go-to’ question… what has been done in the past? Users of introverted sensing see what “is” and have a realistic, down to earth view of the world.
Can you see right there why we may sometimes run into issues? I like to explore the possibilities and he naturally has a realistic view of the world. So, by default, our perspectives are at odds. Which is a good thing as it can bring some balance to each of us.
The two functions that we were using – Introverted Sensing and Extroverted Intuition – are actually opposites – so if you either have both of these functions or neither in your top 4 cognitive functions. If you know your MBTI type and are an NP (intuitive perceiver), the Extroverted Intuition will be in your top 2 cognitive functions. If you are an SJ (sensor judger), the Introverted Sensing will be one of your top two functions. The first two functions of your type can be considered your ‘adult’ processes , and thus more prevalent in your brain’s ‘wiring’.
Before I understood all of this, his simple question to me ‘What did we do last year?’ could feel condescending. But, it really wasn’t, it was just the way that he makes decisions and would be the question that he naturally asks himself.
I share this as a simple and super practical example of how personality type manifests in our everyday lives and how we can learn to use to better understand ourselves, improve our ability to communicate and provide insight into our relationships.