I can still see us sprawled here and there around our living room. It was the first time my husband’s family visited my family — seven years before we were married. My mom had just been to a business training where she’d learned about the DESA© Behavior Index. And somebody got the idea to have all of us fill out the profiles to see what our strengths and styles were.
There was much protesting on the part of some family members. Some of us identified our own answers, others let themselves be profiled by those who knew them best. But despite the hilarity of four adults and five teenagers taking personality tests, there were a lot of “ah-ha” moments as we realized how each of us were wired.
My Analytical brother summed up our personalities in this hilarious fashion:
Dominants think that life is not worth living unless they are doing something.
Expressives think that life is not worth living unless they are talking.
Analyticals think that life is not worth living unless they are thinking.
Solids think that life is not worth living unless they are relaxing.
That was fourteen years ago this month. We’ve all grown and matured a bit since then. I’d like to think that some of our traits have mellowed through the years, but the tendencies are still there.
The years of weddings and trips, friendships and in-laws, have made me thankful I learned about personality types when I was younger. They’ve made the ins and outs of spending holidays and running a family business together a lot easier than they could have been if I had not understood what made us all so different.
If I hadn’t learned that my natural tendencies are not an excuse for sin, I would not have understood my need for spiritual growth. And if I hadn’t learned an appreciation for the way other people “tick”, I’d have had a lot less grace to offer.
The more I discover about birth order, the more I am able to understand the natural tendencies of my family members.
The more I learn to identify love languages, the better I am able to show love to those around me.
The more I study learning styles, the more I am able to identify how my children learn and adapt my teaching methods.
The more I understand about introverts, the more I am able to reach out to them as an extrovert.
The more I observe about personality types, the more I am able to interact with grace in my relationships.