We live in a world of quizzes that will use your favorite Starbucks drink to determine how many children you’re going to have or which Olsen twin you are. While I’ve been known to be sucked into those occasionally (particularly Harry Potter related), I much prefer the quizzes with some scientific backbone. Two that I really enjoy are the Myers-Briggs personality test, and the 5 Love Languages. I love that they both let me view myself from a slightly outsider’s perspective.
The first time I heard of the Myers-Briggs test was in my highschool Psych class, and we all took it one day to find our personality types. Being a 17 year old with raging hormones and that ever present desire to be popular, I naturally picked the traits that I hoped were most attractive. Everyone loves an extrovert, right?
I’ve taken it a few times since, and I am so far from being an extrovert, it’s comical. I much prefer being alone and that is definitely how I recharge. I fall into the ISFJ type and I am consistently surprised how accurate the description is. Similarly to my post on being a Millenial, I don’t love being thrown into a category with masses of people I don’t know or relate to, but I do enjoy reading the description. It’s like a horoscope, but with about 300% more science and research.
I love knowing my personality type, because if I have insecurities about who I am, I know that I’m not the only one in that boat, and that I have hundreds of other traits that make up for the one I don’t love. My mom tells me I’m a “fixer” and although that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it almost always gets me stuck in bad situations. This is pretty typical of an ISFJ, and I have to realize that caring about people isn’t a bad thing, unless you let it take you down. I’m not saying I live and breathe by the broad ISFJ description, but I do find it somewhat comforting.
I have to credit my mom for the first time I heard about the Love Languages test/book, but I was too young to care about it then and I didn’t pay much attention. I was reminded about it while reading Kate Baer’s latest post about 10 Things Moms Actually Want for Mother’s Day . My favorite line of the whole post is #1… “don’t bother making something you’re not going to clean up” (PREACH!)
She wrote a great post a few years ago about her and her husband’s love languages and how they shaped their relationship. I think the more things you’re aware of in a relationship, the healthier it’s going to be. Nothing good comes from the unknown. (I made that up). But seriously, this test is a great way to understand how you and your partner give and receive love the best.
For example, it’s no good giving gifts on gifts on gifts if your partner ranks like a 1 on the “receiving gifts” category. Giving gifts might be YOUR top love language, but if it isn’t theirs, you might need to adjust your actions so they feel your love the way you intend.
So off I went to find out my own love languages. You get about 30 questions, each with two options from which to choose the most meaningful to you. About halfway through I got this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was this horrible person who hated physical affection. Anytime a question came up involving a hug, or holding hands, or a backrub, I was instantly choosing the other.
That’s the pitfall of these tests, though, because they make you step back and take a good hard look at yourself from a new viewpoint and you might not like what you see. I finished the test, trying really hard not to be swayed by my fear of being anti-affectionate, and I realized I was totally okay with the results. My love languages are:
11 – Acts of Service
8 – Quality Time
6 – Words of Affirmation
3 – Receiving Gifts
2 – Physical Touch
My results didn’t surprise me, but I did realize that not being overly physical isn’t the end of the world. I do four other love languages better, and that’s okay. I wish I would have taken this test (honestly) in highschool too, because I feel pretty confident that my results would have been different.
I asked Brian to take this test too, but so far I haven’t heard his results. I have a guess what his top two would be, and I’m really anxious to find out if I’m right! Either way, now I know how I show my love best, and I want to make sure it jives with the way he feels loved.
I TOTALLY recommend taking this test, and also finding out what your personality type is. Even if you don’t feel comfortable asking your partner to do the same, it can shed new light on your relationship and give you second thoughts on how your actions are received.