Where all my sociably introverted, Guardian, ISTJs who speak the Love Language of Quality time at?
What? You didn’t understand that, perhaps? Well, I wouldn’t have either (or, not really, anyway) until this past week. I have fallen head over heels in love with Anne Bogel‘s book on personality types, Reading People (affiliate link alert!). The subtitle of the book, how seeing the world through the lens of personality changes everything, is spot on. I feel like reading this book has given me a new lens, a new perspective not only on myself, but on the people I love. So exciting!
So, let’s dive in, shall we? Let me tell you a little bit about my type…
Introvert v. Extrovert
Is it just me, or does this “introvert/extrovert” business seem to be all over the place lately? And for the longest time, I couldn’t figure out which moniker fit me best. It didn’t matter which Buzzfeed quiz I took or what description I read, I felt like it ALL described me. Until I got to this chapter in Anne’s book:
I’m a sociable introvert. I enjoy coffee dates and Christmas parties and weddings and neighborhood picnics. I love noisy family dinners and hosting playdates and chatting with other parents on the baseball sidelines. I get a little restless when i don’t get regular doses of social interaction. But when I get out of balance — when I spend too much time extraverting, according to my definition of “too much” — I am useless. When I ignore the warning signs and keep extraverting until I enter the Overtalked Introvert Danger Zone, I get totally overwhelmed and borderline rude and can barely string sentences together.” (p. 44)
What? You mean you can be an introvert who actually likes to go places and do things? With people? YES!! That’s totally me! I love having people over to my house. I love visiting with family. But holy moley, when I am done, I am done. Now, thank goodness I have a husband who cares enough to both realize this about me and honor that it’s part of who I am. And, I think Anne would agree that that’s precisely the goal of this book! Not only do we need to recognize these unique things about ourselves, but learning about what makes others tick is incredibly beneficial to all your relationships!
I’m the Guardian of my Galaxy
Ever hear of a guy named David Keirsey or his four personality types? Nope? Me, either. But this might just be the one that made me have the biggest aha! moment of the whole book. Basically, Keirsey says there are 4 different temperaments: Artisan, Guardian, Idealist, Rational.
I looked up a quiz online to see if I could determine which I was before I read her descriptions of each one. This is the quiz I took. The questions weren’t difficult and I answered most of them quickly with gut instinct and tried not too think too much about them. And when all was said and done and I read the description of the Guardian…wow. It was such a lightbulb moment! It described me to a tee!
Here’s a few snippets about what Anne has to say about Guardians:
They are creatures of habit who love their routines. Guardians are intensely logical, innately modest, and known for their common sense…They love facts and are good at remembering details: names, birthdays, anniversaries, social events…In relationships, they’re a stable influence and make ‘loyal mates, responsible parents, and steadying leaders.’
Now, my husband is most definitely not a Guardian, not in Keirsey’s sense of the term, anyway. After reading this chapter, I have a very strong feeling I know which one he is. And I absolutely loved seeing that glimpse of him in the words that I read.
Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator personality types have always confused me a bit. They’re just so complicated! Are you an I or an E, S or N, T or F, J or P? What about an X Y or Z? Just leaves me scratching my head, honestly.
What I like that Anne did, though, was divide the MBTI categories into the Keirsey temperaments. From there, it was much easier to narrow down. Since I know I’m an introvert and a Guardian, that meant I could either be an ISTJ or an ISFJ. And, while I’m pretty sure that I’m a Thinker over a Feeler, I’m still not 100% sure. Which, apparently, is exactly the position most people find themselves in! Unless you’ve been tested by the Meyers & Briggs Foundation using their official instruments and a trained professional, what you’ve most likely got is just a good guess.
QT & WA
How do I love thee? Let me count the 5 different ways…
So, I’m sure we have all heard of the 5 Love Languages (affiliate alert!) concept by Gary Chapman. What these tell us about ourselves and others is in what way do we most feel loved? The five categories are Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Gift Giving, and Acts of Service. My top two languages (they tied at 9 points a piece in this quiz) are Quality Time and Words of Affirmation.
What this means to me is that a walk together with my husband after dinner and a compliment about how delicious that dinner will make me feel more loved than, say, if he brought home a bouquet of flowers and held my hand all night. Does that make sense? It doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t appreciate the flowers or would shy away from hand-holding, not at all! Or, another example, my son might do his own laundry so that I don’t have to and that’s amazing! But it’s our Wednesday night dinners just the two of us where I have his undivided attention that mean the most to me.
But what about YOU?
Now, in her book, Anne also wrote about HSPs (highly sensitive people) and the Enneagram, neither of which were of particular interest to me. But what about you? Have you read the book? Do you know “your types?” Can you spot personality traits and types in your family members?
And while, sadly, I have to return Reading People to the library tomorrow or face the threat of a fine (gasp!), it is certainly a book I would consider buying to keep on my shelf at home. Thanks, Anne Bogel, for a great read and a new pair of lenses through which to view the world!