While one’s Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) Personality Type can help shed light on how they perceive the world, where they draw energy from, what sort of lifestyle they prefer to lead, and how they make decisions, the four letters of one’s MBTI Type can also provide insight into how an individual behaves in a relationship. Each individual has their own MBTI Personality Type, and their own way of perceiving the world, and understanding how Personality Type dynamics relate to a relationship can help keep both partners content. Understanding one’s Myers-Briggs® Test Type, as well as their partner’s Myers-Briggs Type, can be beneficial for the health and happiness of any relationship.
Relationships with The Two Opposite Extravert and Introvert personality Types
Interestingly enough, when a couple is made up of an Introvert and an Extravert, the idea of opposites attracting is far truer than would be expected, with each side balancing out the other, and the differing personalities finding enjoyable qualities in their partner’s opposite personalities. For example, Extraverts will often be drawn to the relaxed and nonchalant attitude of their Introverted counterparts, finding them mysterious in their ways of being not upfront about relationship issues right away. Similarly, Introverts see Extraverts as enjoyable to be around and fairly engaging, finding it admirable that someone can be so comfortable with other people. This creates a delicate balance where each person finds pleasure in the other’s company, whereas they are not competing for one another’s attention.
Of further interest is how Extraverts and Introverts tend to adapt at the start of a new relationship, taking on the qualities of one another in order to scale back the extremes of their personalities. Extraverts are known to make an active effort to be better listeners in the beginning of a relationship, so that they can learn more about their partner, taking special care not to overly stress the Introvert into divulging anything that they may not want to disclose.
Further exploring Myers-Briggs relationships, from the Introverts perspective, in the beginning of a relationship with an extravert, they tend to make a conscious effort to step outside their comfort zones, trying their best to seem more social and outgoing, including planning outings or events to show assertiveness. However, Introverts still enjoy staying in, using their time with their partner in a one-on-one setting. Although Extraverts may enjoy this tête-à-tête time in the beginning, their need for the company of others will soon takeover, and if the Introvert cannot adjust—or they can’t learn to meet halfway—it can prove problematic. As soon as one feels limited or pressured by the other, each individual will go on the defensive most likely reverting back to the extreme of his or her own Myers-Briggs personality type.
What is really most important to the relationship between Extraverts and Introverts is the knowledge that their reactions, tendencies, and habits—albeit different—are natural, and each individual must make it a point to accept this fact in order to see past some of the differences that will incur in the relationship. Being quick to judge your partner just because they see things differently can lead to problems, where as having an open mind and accepting natural tendencies of others personalities can lead to substantial personal growth and happiness. Getting into the habit of allowing your partner to have their way can be more beneficial than arguing about your differences, and oftentimes the selfless act will be reciprocated. Although at times Extraverts and Introverts will become very frustrated with one another, as long as they are willing to proactively regulate or communicate about their tendencies, they can have a perfectly healthy and happy relationships with their opposite.
Myers-Briggs Relationships with Two Extraverted Personality Types
For couples that involve two of the same type, relationships are often more cohesive and easier—though that’s not to say that there aren’t problems that could arise. When two Extraverts get together, their relationship is often one that is highly active and eventful, with discussions flowing freely. They will brainstorm with one another, valuing what the other has to say. Their enthusiasm for life is also a great component of their relationships. They enjoy being around other people—although one will probably enjoy the other person’s company a little more than the other—though their desire to be active and out doing things can cause issues, with either a lack of time together upsetting one Extravert or their activities keeping the two apart. All in all, though, oftentimes Extraverted couples have happy, energetic relationships.
Relationships with Two Introverted Personality Types
Much like Extraverted couples; a couple made up of two Introverts will bond over their similarities and personality types. They both appreciate their space and solitude and will often allow their partner to have similar space. They are in no hurry to engage with other people, except in the case of small groups or close friends, and enjoy spending their free time in the comfort of their home, whether in solitary activities (such as reading) or with one another (lounging around the house). They aren’t afraid of sitting in silence with one another, and don’t feel the need to pressure the other to speak or spend time with others. Introverted couples do run into the problem of too much isolation, however. If neither partner tries to have an active social life or make plans with their significant other, chances are that they will not see one another very often. Also, chances are that one of the Introverts is more outgoing, and they may begin to pull away from their partner if they feel that they are not fulfilling their need for social contact.
Tips for a Healthy Relationship with an Extraverted Personality
There are certain things that Extraverts and Introverts can do in order to better get along with their partners, whether they are the same or a different personality type. For example, if your partner is an Extravert, it’s beneficial to really be thankful for the life and excitement that they find so fundamental to their personality, and to learn how to feel just as enthusiastic about what you enjoy as they do. One interesting note about Extraverts: they love to be praised, complimented, and talked up. Don’t be afraid to boost their ego a little, as they take great pride in how others view them, whether it’s how they look, what they’re doing with their lives, or even just nice things about them. Your efforts will not go unnoticed by the Extravert.
Other actions that you can take to better get along with an Extravert in a relationship are to be open to hearing what the Extravert has to say, as they often come to conclusions by talking through certain things. Taking the initiative to join them in social gatherings is also a great way to gain their respect and appreciation, as is allowing them to spend as much time at a party as they like, rather than trying to get them to leave when they don’t want to.
Outwardly expressing your feelings will also gain you respect in an Extravert’s eyes, as is giving them the space to see their other peers and friends. The worst thing an individual can do is to clam up and keep their feelings hidden from their Extraverted partner. If you need more time to process or formulate words for your thoughts or opinions, it’s best to communicate this with the Extravert. They’ll understand the need for time and will probably ask the same of you, especially in situations of conflict.
Tips for a Healthy Relationship with an Introverted Personality
Similarly, there are certain habits that Extraverts (or more outgoing Introverts) can adapt in order to better get along with their introverted partners. First and foremost, because Introverts really value their privacy, it is important to allow them to have their times of solitude, and to not take it to heart or personally—it doesn’t mean they feel any differently toward you. Along with the desire for privacy and a tendency to keep mostly to themselves, comes a slower than usual (compared to Extraverts at least) communication style, and the Introvert will really appreciate your patience with this. Similarly, when important talks need to be discussed, patience is key—never push the Introvert into talking too soon or without proper preparation. You’ll be glad you waited until the Introvert is able to form their thoughts and voice their concerns more effectively.
It is also incredibly important to respect their inherent need for privacy, and occasionally, silence. This applies to both their mental processes and personal space—Introverts often like to keep information about themselves under wraps, so be careful with sharing as well. Lastly, if an Introvert is with you in a social setting or out in public, it’s best not to call unnecessary attention to them or to compliment them too much, as it makes them uncomfortable to have the spotlight on them. Letting them come out of their shell on their own will be worth it.
Although the Extraverted/Introverted dichotomies may seem too opposite to work well together, it’s often more mentally and personally fulfilling to understand and appreciate the natural tendencies of your partner (whether opposite or not). Chances are you won’t be in a relationship with someone who is exactly like you, so learning to be flexible and accommodating will make your relationships stronger and aid in your personal growth.