I recently took a long road trip with my wife and another couple, our best friends. It is interesting how evident differences in type are in close quarters. Our first challenge was the fact that it was a very hastily put together trip, almost spur of the moment. This is not comfortable for my wife and I who are ‘J’s’ in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator but was perfectly exciting for our friends, both perceivers, or ‘P’s’.
Secondly and perhaps more stressful for us was the fact that we had no idea where we were staying the first night. Add to this getting stuck in a 2 hour traffic jam with the dash light telling us we were nearly out of fuel and no gas station in sight, finding out that there was no accommodation for 120 kilometres, and the dynamics in the vehicle start to get very interesting!
This scenario is experienced at home, at work, at school, and in the community everyday…people interacting with people! People placed together in situations not necessarily of their choosing; people with differing personality types. Some who experience the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator think that by choosing teams or people to interact with or have a relationship with, by compatible personality type, everything will be better.
This is not reality, and compatibility is not between types, it is in the understanding of the type differences so that we can communicate effectively with all types as life does not select matching personalities in our daily living!
Fifty-two hundred kilometres later, we arrived back home, still friends, filled with the amazing experiences and sights of the journey. We had our challenges and worked through them as we communicated openly and agreed on what we needed from each other to be comfortable travelling together and, as a result, had lots of laughs and a wonderful time! It is all about understanding type differences.