Understanding Our Personality Traits
Often when I am with groups of people, sitting and talking with others I think, “Do I really want to spend my time talking about this?” The same thought rarely occurs to me when I am talking one on one with people because usually the conversation goes a little deeper, but group conversation? Not my thing. I kind of wish it was. It looks fun. Kind of. At least it looks like fun for them.
I’ve learned that I am an extroverted introvert, and in learning about my personality type, I own my traits more (rather than trying to cover them up) because I know I am not alone. There’s a whole group of people out there that are like me. I know that no one really falls into perfectly clear-cut personality groups (extrovert/introvert, Myers Briggs, Enneagram) but it is worth finding personality types we identify with.
There are thousands (millions? billions?) of others in the world who share our feelings and ways of relating to others. Somehow, reading about our personality traits (good and bad) published in a book, magazine or blog, by someone who doesn’t even know us, makes them easier to talk about. It somehow doesn’t seem so personal because it is a ‘personality type’. Of course, it is likely even more accurate to learn about our personality traits through self-reflection and input from those in our lives, but how willing are we to listen to our partner, boss or mother-in-law point out our flaws?
There is power in understanding ourselves because then we can explain our behaviour to others. For example, if you are quiet on the way home from a social gathering, you can say, “I need a break from talking. All that conversation was draining for me!” Then your quiet behaviour has been explained and no one gets hurt feelings. Or conversely, “I got so excited seeing all my old friends again that I couldn’t just sit and visit with a few people, I needed to make sure to talk with everyone!” can explain why you might have looked like you were interested in everyone except your partner at the party.
When we are aware of our behaviour and can explain it to others, we are easier to love and accept because it removes the question of what our intention is. Being honest about our traits actually can be kind of endearing, plus it can save us from a lot of needless misunderstandings.
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