At church, we’ve been attending a Sunday School class called the Art of Marriage, and have talked about tools to build your relationship and improve communication. For those of you that are not married, don’t stop reading yet – many of these principles apply to any close relationship that you want to improve or learn more about. In class, we have mainly talked about the 5 Love Languages and the book that goes along with it. Gabe and I have previously discussed our love languages, but for this week’s adventure into trying new things, we wanted to explore some other aspects of interaction to continue to get to know each other and how we can effectively communicate. We landed on two new tools that have been helpful to go through.
- You may have heard of the Myers-Brigg Test that delineates your major personality traits with a 4-letter descriptor, based on where you fall in the following categories: Introversion/Extraversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving. I’ve always found that test interesting, but a coworker recently told me about a related test called Enneagram which groups you into one of 9 types. Once Gabe and I both discovered our types, we were able to read descriptions of common strengths and weaknesses for our types and how we could complement each other. Reading about certain tendencies hard-wired for each of us was helpful because we were able to see both the healthy and unhealthy expression of our tendencies. This test is more of a Christian-based version of the Jung typology test (MBTI).
- The second tool was determining our Chronotypes. This gave us a lot of insight into our productivity and interaction as it relates to sleep cycles. Basically, we learned the best time for each of us to work out, have a serious conversation, perform manual labor, have sex, or engage in something creative. I’m definitely a night owl, and Gabe is much more of a morning person, so it has been an adjustment for each of us to spend quality time together when we have vastly different times of the day when we are most engaged and alert. Some of the results may seem obvious, but we both discovered some new insight into how we could work together on areas where we have major differences both in preferences and in physical hard-wiring.
I’m interested to know if you find these tools helpful, or if there are any others that you would recommend for relationships. I’m an ISFJ/ISTJ on MBTI, Type 1 on Enneagram and a Bear on the Chronotype quiz. Comment below with your types – I’d love to learn more about you and how this has helped you.
Thanks for reading!