If you’re looking for dating advice based on the title of this blog post, look elsewhere - I’ve successfully tricked you.
When I say “type” I mean Myers-Briggs Type. Carl Jung is the(freaking awesome) Swiss psychologist who developed personality type theory. In this theory, he defines eight different patterns of behavior, or types, which reflect the natural tendencies people have to use their minds in different ways. Essentially, your preferred type is the way you naturally want to do things. All eight of the preferences are good and necessary - there is no “ideal type” combination. As a society and as individuals, we need all eight.
Here’s the quick n’ dirty run down on the eight preferences:
To help understand this concept of preferences and type, think about the hand you prefer to write with. Can you write with your non-dominant hand? Sure you can, but it’s more uncomfortable and awkward than using your dominant, preferred hand.
This same concept is true for your personality preferences. While you can and do use all eight Myers-Briggs preferences(the same way you can and do use your dominant and nondominant hand), four of them(one from each row) are your favorite. They're more natural and more dominant for you.
I think the best part of the work I do with people is helping people notice when they are living out-of-preference. Because you don’t have to. Are there times in life where you need to flex to the opposite side, even though it’s out-of-preference? For sure. Again, we can, do and have to use all eight. Overall though, I stand for the idea that we each have the opportunity to choose to live a life that’s in-preference for the most part.
Does society highlight certain preferences? In my opinion, unfortunately yes:
I say all of this with the caveat that this isn’t always the case. If your personal preference aligns with what society is nudging you towards (i.e. if you are in fact a woman who prefers Feeling or someone who prefers Judging that graduated and got a job related to your degree), that is absolutely beautiful and I hope you are happy with your in-preference life! I’m sharing these “social norms” related to type in hopes you take the time to intentionally look at your why.
Why do you have the job you have? Why do you make the decisions you make? Why are you on the path you’re on? Is it because it’s innately true for you and it serves you? Or is it because it’s what you know and what is expected of you?
Sometimes we don’t have control over this in-preference stuff. There are times when we have no choice but to act out-of-preference to keep our lives moving. For example, people who prefer Intuition can’t live on their ideas alone, they have to execute them by incorporating Sensing characteristics. People who prefer Perceiving can’t go their entire life without scheduling things at least here and there.
But when it comes to the core pillars of your life - your relationships, your career, your living situation, etc - we get to decide which preferences we honor.
I can tell you what a life out of preference looks like because for a long time I was doing what is expected of me and living out-of-preference.
Picking a major based on a club I was in during high school and going to college? Not my type.
Getting a job where I didn’t have much autonomy over the big picture? Not my type.
Working in a structured 9-5 environment? Not my type.
Committing to a plan and making decisions far in advance? Not my type.
It’s feeling like you’re in the audience eating popcorn watching an actress play your role. It’s feeling disconnected. It’s dreading things that you see other people not-dreading and wondering what’s wrong with you. It’s feeling like you’re on the outside looking in. It’s wishing you could have a life like those happy people. Guess what? It’s not that you can’t. It’s that you’re not or you won’t.
If something feels off or you feel like you’re not at home in your own life, it’s likely that your preferences are working against you instead of for you. Do some self-inventory and take a look at your preferences. Now take a look at your life. Are the roles and environments you put yourself in complementary to the way you innately prefer to do things? Or are they opposite? If they’re opposite, where are you relevant in that?
If you’re waiting for the promotion, the relationship, the apology from a friend, the dream home or the money to come in and make you feel whole and good...wake up. It’s not all that external stuff that needs to fall into place. It’s you that needs to show up for yourself.
Could it potentially be difficult to step into your authenticity and require some big changes? Yes. It is tangible, possible and do you deserve to feel connected to your own life? Also yes. Anyone who tells you differently is likely coming from a place of fear. Life doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it sometimes.