Do you ever believe love, relationships, and good times would come your way if you could just have a personality transplant? If so, I understand where you’re coming from… at least to a point. I’ve spent a lot of my life not appreciating my own personality.
Because I’m characteristically introverted, I don’t enjoy public speaking, I struggle to walk up to strangers and start conversations, and I need a lot of alone time. Instead of viewing my preferences and needs as perfectly normal for someone like me, I would automatically assume it was better to be extraverted.
Similarly, I find that I don’t really enjoy lectures. My mind wanders and I rarely leave lectures with an expanded understanding of the material covered (though I may have imagined enough in that time to fill a 200 page book). Growing up, and even after I was married, I found myself comparing my intellectual desires (or lack thereof) to those of my husband and friends. Because they enjoyed discussing deep, theological concepts and literature and I didn’t (though, at times, I’m sure I pretended I did), I felt like it was naturally better to be more intellectual than concrete and sensory (though I’m sure I couldn’t have articulated that when I was younger).
When I was about twelve or thirteen, I remember my best friend saying that she wished she could start a literature group. She thought it would be awesome for several young girls to get together and discuss Shakespeare and others from his era. At the time, I’m sure I would’ve powered through and tried (at least once) to be a part of the group so that I could appear intellectual, but I’m pretty sure I would’ve sat there with a quizzical look on my face while the others drank in powerful intuitive juices.
Then, there’s decision making. Some of my friends have the ability to make quick, logical decisions without questioning their judgment. How nice that must be! My decision making always seems to surround questions such as, “How will this decision make others feel?” instead of “According to the evidence, choice A is the proper plan of action.” The people in my life who made quick judgment calls without agonizing or worrying about how others were affected seemed more mature… more sophisticated… more better than me (please pardon my poor English).
Finally, there is my need for structure. Here is where it gets interesting. I hate following a schedule, but I thrive when I make lists and organize my work spaces. So I need structure, yet I rebel against it. I used to look at those who were extremely disciplined and orderly as better than me, but I would also look across the personality street to those who were completely spontaneous and free from over-commitment and think they were better than me too.
Basically, I looked at myself and concluded that anybody who was different than me personality-wise must be better. But why? Because I didn’t take the time to look at and appreciate who God made me to be. I found the weaknesses in my personality instead of looking for my strengths. My personality isn’t better or worse than others, it is just what it is and I’m thankful that God gave me the unique qualities he gave me – just as He gave to your qualities to you.
My Myers-Briggs personality type is an ISFJ – Introvert, Sensing, Feeling, Judging. Though I tend to need more alone time and don’t enjoy large crowds, I also think deeply, have meaningful relationships with my close friends, and have no trouble digging below the surface to know someone better. Even though I can read theoretical books, they take me a while to finish (due to rereading some long, complex, abstract sentences and falling asleep); however, I am great at memorizing facts and using the five senses God gave me. Maybe I do make decisions that aren’t considered logical and maybe my husband can’t always understand how I come to some of my unusual conclusions, but I have a lot of deeply held traditional Southern values which I wouldn’t trade for the ability to make ultra-logical, A + B = C decisions. And, yes, I’m not super artistic or spontaneous, but I do my best to fulfill my commitments, I’m dependable, and I’m approachable.
Do you need to take some time and consider what you love about your personality? Who did God make you to be? You don’t need to be someone you’re not to be worthy of love. You don’t need a personality transplant – God made you who you are just right. Find your strengths, understand your weaknesses, and embrace the total package. You were created to be you and you don’t need to be someone you’re not to attract a mate. Besides, we can only pretend to be someone we’re not for so long before we have to be ourselves (and pretending to be someone we are not is never a good long-term [or short-term, for that matter] strategy).
Though we can’t use our personalities as an excuse to live unrighteously (e.g., I’m still told to study to show myself approved even though I don’t have a natural bent towards reading and studying, etc.), we can study them and understand ourselves better. Thank God for who He made you to be and ask Him to help you live out the calling He placed inside you! ~smile~
Are you happy with your specific traits or do you struggle to find the positives in your personality?