Understanding Personality Styles for Better Relationships

As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, personality styles vary from person to person, and no two people are the same. Each individual, young or old, views the world differently, interacts with others in a distinctive way, and processes information uniquely.

Differences in personality styles are good. It would be boring if everyone acted, behaved, and thought the same way. But sometimes, interacting with people who are vastly different from you can be stressful.

Noticing behavioral and personality styles among people is nothing new. The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung was the first to categorize behavioral styles. Jung postulated that every individual develops a primacy in one of four major behavioral functions: intuiting, thinking, feeling, and sensing. If you and others operate from different behavioral styles, friction and stress can easily result.

The Four Main Behavioral and Personality Styles

Realize that no style is good or bad, right or wrong. There is no one style that is better or worse than another; they are simply different.

You can discern other people’s styles by watching them and examining how they process experiences. In my WITHOUT STRESS PERSONALITY BEHAVIOR STYLES ASSESSMENT we use the four style descriptions of Thinker, Feeler, Doer, and Relater.

Visualize a directional scale with a thinker in the north, a feeler in the south, a doer in the west, and a relater in the east.

  • thinker (north) analyzes and processes using a great deal of thought.
  • feeler (south) is directed through emotions more than through cognition.
  • doer (west) is orientated toward results.
  • relater (east) is into relationships.

Since directions are not limited to north, south, east, and west, think in terms of general areas or neighborhoods, such as the north and west, south and east, etc.

How Knowing the Styles Helps You

A person who is aware of behavioral and personality styles has a decided advantage in relating to and communicating with others. This holds true for any relationship, such as parent/child, husband/wife, boss/employee, etc. For example, just knowing that your spouse wants time to relate can prompt you to redirect an impulse to “get on with a task.” Such knowledge can help you take time to listen.

In short, being aware of styles enhances communications. When you observe a person’s style and start relating with this understanding, you will experience less stress and more joy in your relationships.

Tip: For more information about the four behavioral and personality styles, and to take an online assessment that will help you determine your own style, see https://withoutstress.com/assessment/.