Career Counselor Edythe Richards provides an overview of Myers–Briggs® relationships with a brief description of the four dichotomies.

In relationships….

  • We all use EVERY function, but we also have a preference for one over the other
  • All Types® are equally valuable
  • Every individual is unique
  • We’re each born with our Type®, and while we change as we develop and mature, our Type® remains the same throughout our lives.
  • Type® is a tool to help people understand themselves and appreciate others.   It is not a tool for diagnosis, nor a measure of skills.

People are energized in 1 of 2 ways:

Outwardly focused; direct energy toward external environment Inwardly focused; direct energy toward themselves
Need to talk about problems in order to resolve them Need to mull problems over before discussing them
Look forward to social gatherings Drained by too much social interaction (especially with strangers)
Think out loud Pause before answering questions
Have a variety of interests & a varied circle of friends and acquaintances Selective about their interests; most comfortable one-on-one or in very small groups

People perceive the world in 1 of 2 ways:

Are tuned into the past and present, as they depend on their 5 senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell) to obtain information Are tuned into the future, as besides their 5 senses, they also rely on their imagination and visualization for information
“What is” “What could be”
Present-oriented; whatever they’re engaged in at the moment commands their full attention Future-focused; tend to imagine how present events will affect the future
Hands-on and practical; trust direct, established experience Theoretical and appreciate new ideas; trust gut instincts
May see the trees but not the forest May see the forest but not the trees

People come to conclusions in 1 or 2 ways:

Logical and analytical; place a high value on directness and honesty Sensitive and sympathetic; place a high value on expressing emotions
Inclined to consistency; hold everyone to the same standard Inclined to look for and accept extenuating circumstances
Are motivated by achievements Are motivated by being appreciated
Like to compete and win Like to cooperate and create consensus
Believe it’s better to be truthful than tactful Believe it’s better to be tactful than truthful

People run their everyday lives in 1 of 2 ways:

Like to make decisions as soon as possible so as to complete tasks, come to closure, and move on Like to keep their options open; gather as much information as possible before making a decision
Live in a planned, orderly way Live in a flexible, adaptable, and spontaneous way
Structured and organized; tolerant with routine Frustrated by rules, routine, and highly structured tasks
Like to be in control; uncomfortable with unplanned changes Prefer to stay open to new information and last-minute options
Are often better at finishing projects Are often better at starting projects

Extraverts (E) with Extraverts (E)

The Good
The Challenges
Lots of talking & discussion May not listen well to each other
Active & busy lifestyles May interrupt each other
Social – like to be around lots of people May become overextended with external activities

Introverts (I) with Introverts (I)

The Good
The Challenges
Good listeners May lose touch with the outside world
Patient, with depth of thought See everything in terms of themselves
Respect each other’s needs for privacy/quiet Don’t speak up right away about issues/problems

Sensors (S) with Sensors (S)

The Good
The Challenges
Share a realistic & practical view of the world May not consider alternatives
Are literal and linear May be skeptical of new ideas
Are unpretentious/down to earth May be materialistic

iNtuitives (N) with iNtuitives (N)

The Good
The Challenges
Love to share ideas and discuss possibilities May miss essential details
See alternatives Can be sloppy with facts and/or money
Appreciate each other’s uniqueness May be vague and/or abstract

Thinkers (T) with Thinkers (T)

The Good
The Challenges
Are direct and honest May be critical, blunt, or insensitive
Are consistent and logical May not understand emotional concepts of conflicts
Rarely compromise their principles May not risk sharing emotionally

Feelers (F) with Feelers (F)

The Good
The Challenges
Are eager to understand each other Take everything personally
Are warm, compassionate, and expressive Are sensitive to criticism
Are eager to connect emotionally Tend to avoid conflict

Judgers (J) with Judgers (J)

The Good
The Challenges
Are great at finishing projects/tying up loose ends Struggle for control of agendas
Are decisive and organized May be stubborn
Share a desire for order and neatness May be unwilling to adjust plans

Perceivers (P) with Perceivers (P)

The Good
The Challenges
Are easy-going and adventurous Don’t plan ahead or follow through
Are playful and fun-loving May be impulsive or mismanage money
Are curious and open to change May procrastinate and miss opportunities

Keep in mind that the MBTI®

  •  Is based on binary personality traits.  Real life doesn’t work this way.
  • Can help you understand yourself and your partner, but it should not be used as a determinant.
  • Is good at describing potential relationship pitfalls, but this does not mean that some relationships are destined to fail.

Any 2 healthy, well-adjusted people can have a successful relationship

Sources:  Tieger & Tiger, CPP, and CAPT.