MBTI® Personality Type Communication Tips For The Holidays

Leon Jesmanowicz, Vice-PresidentAssessments, MBTI, Personality Type

If you’ve had the opportunity to MBTI Assessment then you already know that people’s Personality Types can vary drastically. This is rarely more apparent than during the Holidays. With Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season quickly approaching, it’s a great time to discuss how different personality preferences act and react in the melting pot of Personality Types that is the “family gathering”. Check out our tips on how to identify and appreciate the varying Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Personality Type differences so that you can enjoy a more understanding and cooperative Holiday Season.

The first and arguably most noticeable contrast in personality types you will likely run into during a holiday family gathering are family members who have an Extraverted preference and those that have an Introverted preference. If you have a small Thanksgiving gathering then this might not be an issue, but if you have an extended family then you will have a higher chance of running into situations where conflicting preferences may lead to friction. Here are communication tips for the Holidays when dealing with MBTI Personality Type Extraverted and Introverted preferences:

Individuals who are Extraverted will thrive in large family environments. They tend to get excited and energized by the large group environment. They are also prone to assume that everyone else will be just as excited as they are and have to be careful not to look down on Introverted preferring family members for not meeting their level of excitement.  If you prefer Extraversion, take care to not overwhelm those in your gatherings that may not match your preference and understand that their preference is equally valid. Don’t take offense when MBTI Introverted individuals come off as more distant or detached. If you prefer Introversion, try to be understanding and don’t automatically label Extraverts as loud, overbearing, or intrusive.

If you prefer Introversion, and are attending a large gathering, realize and accept that you are interacting outside of your comfort zone. Do your best to find a low key area that allows you a little more space, but don’t ignore family. If family members tend to react to your Introverted nature by asking questions like “are you ok”, or “why aren’t you interacting more”, then the best option Is honesty. Tell them you’re fine, but you tend to prefer a calmer atmosphere. A good tactic is to find an individual you identify with and focus on one-on-one communication or small group interaction. This is less likely to receive negative attention then attempting to isolate yourself in what is considered a social gathering.  If you prefer Extraversion, be sensitive to the fact that others might not be as comfortable in social settings as you are. Above all else, don’t alienate or put down anyone just because they don’t share the same level of enthusiasm in social settings.

The second contrast in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® personality types you will be able to easily identify will be those individuals that prefer Judging versus those that prefer Perceiving. This can often be observed with individuals that appear to need to have every part of the gathering planned versus those that simply want to go with the flow of the event and enjoy a relaxing time. Here are communication tips for the holidays when dealing with MBTI Personality Type Judging and Perceiving preferences:

Those individuals that have a Judging personality will appear as the organized planners of the group. Most often, but not always, this is most apparent in whoever is hosting the gathering.  This can also be seen in attendees as well.  These individuals will want to know when the event starts, when to arrive, what time is dinner being served, etc. If this is your preference, realize that your attention to detail may turn off those that want to relax and simply enjoy the gathering as it develops. Identify those that share your preference and channel your inquires in their direction as they are the most likely to respond positively to your needs. Do not put unneeded pressure on individuals that have an MBTI Personality Type preference for Perceiving. If you prefer Perceiving, don’t be harsh on those preferring Judging. You may think they take things too seriously, but whatever you do, don’t tell them to “relax”. Realize that both your preferences are valid and do your best to enjoy yourself without judging those that don’t share your viewpoint.

Take the above mentioned tips into account and enjoy a smoother and more enjoyable Holiday season. If you’re not sure what your type is and would like to find out then head over to our Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessments page and take one of our MBTI assessments to find out more about yourself and your type.