Personalities & Acceptance

Since we are talking about getting older and acceptance, I wanted to talk about personality types.

There are so many personality type quizzes/theories out there that it can feel like old news. But today isn't about Myers-Briggs or anything specific. It's just pure anecdotal evidence from my life.

My husband and I are in a "small group" at church. Since our church is bigger, they encourage these smaller groups to ensure a sense of community and fellowship. We do Bible studies and faith-based discussion, but our group has become super tight and basically hang out all the time.

Over the years, it's become super clear that myself and one guy have almost the same personality. We will see a sign and make the exact same comment, we like the same styles, react the same ways, often even eat the same food.

That's not super weird, unless you count the fact that our spouses are also exactly the same. 

In a super freaky way. Listening to their conversations sounds so much like listening to me and my hubby. Same communication issues, all of it.

I take this as a good sign- hopefully it means our personalities are super compatible, since they match up over and over again right? 

Realizing that there are certain types of personalities is helping me let some things go.

Obviously, as a psych major, I've heard lots of these personality types. But these specific, documented, regimented types are not really the things I'm talking about.

One thing my husband and friend have in common? They complain. Just in general. It's natural to them. And this bugs the frick out of me.

I am a fixer. If something doesn't work, you change approaches. If you don't care enough to change approaches, you shut up about it. This has historically been a huge source of frustration and drama.

I don't think it really clicked for any of us until another friend casually stated it to her face. My female friend was complaining, and the other friend laughed and went "Oh man, you love to complain so much. You'll do lots of things, you just have to complain about it."

My friend was SHOCKED. She literally had no idea that she complained so much...until everyone in the room laughed, nodded, and agreed.

My husband knew that I complained about his complaining...but until he realized that it was the same as her, he thought I was exaggerating. It took seeing it IN someone else to really get it.

As a fixer, I always want to offer suggestions- partly to shut them up, true, but mainly because I want to help them and take away the upsetting issue.

This doesn't help them just bugs me when they don't listen. Because they were always going to deal with the thing...or more accurately, forget that they complained in the first place (seriously, as a chronic over thinker I cannot truly grasp it, but they also both have bad memories...or willfully forget stuff, I haven't decided).

Recognizing this, and learning to stop judging it, has helped me so much. I have started automatically rephrasing their complaints...sometimes in my head, sometimes out loud.

For instance, the other day I told my husband I was almost at my reading goal for the year since I just finished my 50th book. His response was "That is ridiculous" with a grimace. My response: "Why thank you love, it is impressive and I'm happy for me too." To which he replied, with sincerity, "Thank you for knowing what I actually think even though I did not express it."

It was only slightly ruined when I told him I didn't know what he meant, I was just trying a new anxiety management technique I saw on Pinterest.*

*It's driving me crazy that I can't find it anymore, but basically it said that when you make a mistake or something goes wrong, to over-exaggerate your thoughts in a positive direction instead of a negative one; for example, if you trip you should come up and say "I am the epitome of grace" instead of "Ugh I'm such a clumsy loser."

1 comment

  1. I feel like I'm a complainer and a definite over-exaggerator. Everyone has come to accept the over-exaggeration for what it is, me being silly, and we joke now about how things escalate "Megan-quick". I like the idea of giving it a positive spin. It would probably benefit me greatly, although it would be extremely difficult since I always expect the worst so I'm not disappointed.

    It took Husband seeing his traits in his Dad for him to see what I deal with. There have never been so many praise hand emojis in my brain than the day he admitted seeing his behaviors in his dad.