Our personalities are an integral part of who we are—understanding how we operate can be tremendously helpful to us and the people around us. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is one system that I've found very valuable in this sense.
How does Myers-Briggs play into the five capitals?
One of the things that I've found is that our temperament actually plays a big role in how the different capitals can become out of order in our lives.
For a refresher on what are the Five Capitals, click here.
Myers-Briggs is all about four preferences:
- Introversion or Extraversion: How you interact with other people and get your energy
- Intuition or Sensing: How you see the world and process information
- Thinking or Feeling: How you make decisions and cope with emotions
- Judging or Perceiving: Your approach to work, planning, and decision-making
Two specific areas tend to influence the way you prioritize your capitals the most: whether you are a sensor or an intuitive and whether you are a thinker or a feeler. This can largely change and even dictate the priority and focus that you have in life.
Thinking and Feeling
Thinkers are tough, follow their minds, and focus on objectivity and rationality. I've found that thinkers tend to overvalue and overemphasize intellect and truth, and thus tend to prioritize intellectual capital over the others. They are frequently willing to sacrifice friendships, relationships, their own time, and even what God is saying for the 'reality' of what they think is right and true. Though their original intentions may have been pure, they can quickly find themselves arrogant and demanding, following their own heads and insisting on getting their way instead of submitting to God's way. Because they can never fully produce the perfect truth themselves, they frequently live in a lot of guilt and frustration with themselves and others.
Feelers are sensitive, follow their hearts, and focus on harmony and cooperation. Since feelers are very values-based, I've found that feelers tend to overvalue and overemphasize connection and appreciation, and thus tend to prioritize relationship capital over the others. Relationships are so important to them that there's nothing that they would do to sacrifice the connections they've made, even when God may be telling them to so. They frequently ask questions like, "How am I doing relationally?" "Do people like me?" "Is there a good amount of approval from the people that I'm engaging and interacting with?" These questions can take precedence above their relationship with God, driving them away from their true identity in Him. Because others can't produce the perfect love that they really need, they frequently live in a lot of shame and insecurity.
Sensing and Intuition
Sensors are down-to-earth, rely on their senses, absorb themselves in practical matters, and focus on what has happened. I've found that sensors tend to be overly focused, even obsessed with their physical life, and thus tend to prioritize physical capital over the others. They frequently ignore or miss the deeper meaning behind everyday events and actions because of their emphasis on the physical reality. They have problems with superficiality and forget to ask, "why?" after things happen in order to really reflect and connect with God. They can find themselves in an endless loop of living the same lives they always have instead of working towards a better future and looking into new possibilities that God want to plant in them.
Intuitives are imaginative, rely on their intuition, absorb themselves in ideas, and focus on what might happen. I've found that intuitives tend to be overly focused on deeper meaning and possibilities that they forget to listen to God, and thus tend to live with a counterfeit spiritual capital. They focus on their great ideas so much that they start to value their own ideas above God's, or even believe that the two are synonymous. Intuitives have trouble with consistency—they look to the future so much that they can forget to see the current issue around them where they can contribute. They also have trouble with humility—they focus so much on their own personal possibilities that they have trouble being assigned an 'unimportant' job and staying loyal to it. They have trouble truly surrendering every area of their lives to God. Intuitives arguably have greatest potential, but they can easily slip into doing great damage to God and other's relationships with Him.
Temperament plays a huge part in processing well and making sure that we're putting God above all else. Understanding how we operate can bring crucial insight into our nature in order for us keep the capitals in order and live a life to the full.
If you're a fan of Myers-Briggs and you'd like to learn more, feel free to contact us.
Think through your temperament and preferences—how might you be inadvertently sabotaging a more fulfilling, better prioritized life? What do you notice about yourself? We'd love to hear your thoughts and reflections in the comments below!