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Applying Myers Briggs/MBTI to your personal life

Updated: Jul 13


Who should read?

  1. Those who are find themselves in middle of conflicts with their partners

  2. Those who are finding it hard to show their side of the story to their partners/family

We often take Myer Briggs exercises at workplaces to make sure there is diversity or skews to indicate potential disagreements. This blog will share pragmatic tips to apply the MBTI framework to your personal/professional life. There are four main areas where there are differences in operating styles: 1) Lifestyle: Extroversion (E) vs. Introversion (I); 2) Information: Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N); 3) Decisions: Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F); 4) Structure: Perception (P) vs. Judging (J). Mary made a decision to choose Hari, her business partner, as her life partner, rationalizing each other’s complementary nature. It is a desirable approach to make choices; however, one must be aware of potential conflict arising situations to tackle them.

Mary is an ISTJ, while Hari is ENFP. Mary and Hari can have the following personal or professional conflicts. I vs. E, At the office happy hours Mary can often feel being less heard, being cut in the middle of the conversation. Hari, on the other hand, can feel that Mary is not participating much with friends and colleagues and is being indifferent. Hari needs to remember that Mary might merely be looking at her watch as she doesn’t get her energy by meeting ten people, but by having a drink alone. At the same time, Mary needs to remember that Hari will not feel energetic/excited if it were not for all the conversations at the party. S vs. N, Mary, and Hari had a small fight, where Mary being an S will immediately recollect the last five fights and share the reasons on fights, Hari will zone out and think at a broad level, ‘is it a repairable damage? Yes, then don’t care’. T vs F, one of my colleagues suggested that the best way to qualify your decision making style as thinker or feeler is to ask a question, ‘If you were a soccer coach of eleven girls, and had funds to take only six for a match, what will you do?’ A typical thinker will stack rank or conduct a match for performance, while an F will raise funds for taking all eleven.

P vs. J, Mary, and Hari are heading for a vacation, while Hari wants to be more spontaneous and explore, Mary likes to plan every hour in her itinerary. She pre-reads every section of a museum to decide which part she will spend time on. Hari wants to head to the museum and be surprised by their presentation. Mary’s preparation techniques can be exhaustive for Hari but, at the same time, prevent them from logistical failures. Therefore, Mary can feel Hari is under-prepared and doesn’t put effort in planning. On the other hand, for completing a project, Mary can come across as an annoying peer with a constant timeline reminder, as Hari will want to use his time in thinking and being more creative.

Learnings for managing the difference in personalities: 1) Know the difference in traits; 2) Give space to an “I” when needed and opportunities to spea

k; 3) Over Communicate your rationale, possibly with data to an “S”; 4) Divide tasks basis your strengths; and 5) Be critical and brief for a “T” with feelings as an added and not an only argument; 6) With “F”s be empathetic and show areas of agreement before disagreements.


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