Lately Rob and I have taken a very keen interest in personalities, different personalities, our personalities, how our personalities are different/same, etc etc etc.
Two metrics that we've been looking at are the Myers Briggs personality test (yes, the same one you took in high school) and more focused, the 5 Love Languages. I'll get to the Love Languages later.
Looking at both of these metrics has given us a lot of insight into how we each behave and has helped us to better understand each other. Maybe it's our crazy analytic brains working too hard but regardless, learning more about the person you're going to spend your life with is always a priority to me.
Background: Myers-Briggs personality type indicator "is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions." You take the test and you get a four letter code that represents your personality.
Your first letter is your attitude: E for extrovert or I for Introvert
Your second letter is how you perceive: S for sensing or N for intuitive
Your third letter is how you judge: T for thinking or F for feeling
Your fourth letter is your lifestyle: J for judging or P for perceiving
We used this test this time around.
When I was in grade 11 we had a whole day devoted to taking the Myers-Briggs test and then working out what our personality type meant. I remember that at 16 years old I was an ENTP which can be described as the 'inventor' and fits into the 'Rationals' group. When I re-took the test this week (with Rob over my shoulder calling my bluff) I came out as an ENFJ with the N being very marginal (meaning I could sway to an S easily). That's two whole letter changes in ten years - very interesting!
My ENFJ personality can be described as the 'teacher' and falls into the 'Idealist' group. Should my N change to an S I would be an ESFJ or the 'provider' from the 'Guardian' group. Both are described as very caring and nurturing with a strong focus on people. A big change from my ENTP teenage years but I can still see how I'd fit into the 'inventor' personality with such descriptor phrases as "Inventors are always on the lookout for a better way, always eyeing new projects, new enterprises, new processes." and "Inventors often have a lively circle of friends and are interested in their ideas and activities."
Rob came out as an INTP (very close to my high school result!) which is the 'architect' from the 'Rationals' group. It's a pretty accurate (creepily accurate) description of him with such notes as "It is difficult for an Architect to listen to nonsense, even in a casual conversation" and " interested only in what make sense, and thus only statements that are consistent and coherent carry any weight with them."
Interestingly, our two personality types couldn't be more different - mine focused much more on emotions and people and his focused more on facts and experiences - they still compliment each other quite nicely. Rob's secondary code - INTJ - still falls in the 'Rationals' group which suggests that his N and T attributes are fairly strong while my N was my weakest letter and that I could sway between an N and an S.
Anyway - all of this is to say that Rob and I learned a lot by going through the exercise together and reaffirmed many things that we thought about each other. It was a fun little experience and has given us countless hours of discussion - in fact we spent our 3 year dating anniversary discussing how our personalities work with each other!