How many personality and behavioral assessments/tests have you taken over the course of your work life? Plenty, I’m sure: MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), DiSC (Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance), CPI (California Personality Inventory), POI (Personal Outlook Inventory). The list goes on. Acronyms aplenty!
Well, I got to thinking the other day. How might we use some of the results from these tests in other areas of our lives, such as, dating and love?
Recently, I was looking over an old personality inventory I had taken called the Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument, which measures and describes thinking preferences in people. The assessment identifies four different modes of thinking:
- The analytical thinkers (associated with the color blue) –> Key words to describe these people: logical, factual, critical, technical and quantitative.
- The planners/organizers (associated with the color green) –> Key words to describe these people: controlled, structured, dominant, organized, speaker, reader, detailed, complexity.
- The feelers (associated with the color red) –> Key words to describe these people: Kinesthetic, emotional, spiritual, sensory, feeling, intuitive, talker
- The ideas people (associated with the color yellow) –> Key words to describe these people: Visual, holistic, intuitive, innovative, conceptual, imaginative, creative problem-solvers, big picture thinkers.
While most of us use all four modes, we are typically dominant in one, maybe two modes. My results were as follows: Green (87); Red (73); Blue (69); Yellow (61). In times of stress, my green numbers go higher (we tend to lean on the thinking mode with which we are most comfortable when we’re feeling frazzled) and my yellow numbers go lower.
The goal of the assessment is to show you where your thinking strengths lie but also to show you where you can strengthen other areas. Typically, we mentally default to how we have thought about and done things in the past, but accessing our whole brains provides opportunities for us to move beyond that default and discover new ideas. So in my career life, for instance, I’m naturally good at organizing, structuring things, and being detail-oriented (green), but perhaps sometimes I lose sight of the bigger picture (yellow) and I don’t look at things logically (blue) enough (my husband is nodding his head in agreement right now).
Sure, this information can be tremendously useful in my career life—empowering me, challenging me to see and think about work issues in different ways. But let’s go a step further: How can these personality diagnostics be useful when it comes to matters of the heart?
For instance, let’s use the Hermann diagnostic for our purposes here.
Maybe you’re a blue thinker and, in your dating life, this means you often operate by gathering facts and overanalyzing things. Maybe you need to gather a boatload of evidence and facts, for example, before trying out an online dating site or a new mobile dating app. Perhaps it’s time to bring a little yellow thinking into your world — trying something new and outside your comfort zone just for kicks or being more imaginative about possibilities without allowing analysis paralysis to set in.
Or maybe you’re a red thinker, and, in your dating life, this means you wear your heart on your sleeve or you tend to be very emotional or you spill your guts on the first date. Perhaps you can think about bringing some blue into your dating life. Instead of dating with all heart, you put more analysis into certain situations or you decide to be a bit less impulsive emotionally or you learn how to create better boundaries for yourself.
Or maybe you’re a green thinker and, in your dating life, this means you’re super fixated on being structured and controlled (and in control). Perhaps it’s time to bring in a little red thinking, so you start feeling and emoting more in your love life, start letting your walls down a bit, start showing more vulnerability.
Or maybe you’re a yellow thinker, and, when it comes to dating, this means you have all sorts of lofty ideas of how you might meet someone and who he may be, but you need a little green thinking to start getting more clarity on specific qualities you’re looking for and to start actually strategizing in your dating life about specific opportunities to meet people.
Certainly whatever assessments you’ve taken, there are ways you can think of your results in similar terms with regards to your dating life. Sure, some results may not transfer over into your dating world, but perhaps some will—you never know!
This isn’t about making changes in your way of thinking for the sake of change; it’s about making thoughtful changes that get you to where you want to go in your life. And if you realize you need to start approaching your dating life in different ways because you’re going in circles, this might be an opportunity for you to do just that.
Using your old diagnostics results in this way is about actively and intentionally experimenting with new ways of thinking in your love life, rather than doing things out of habit, like a mindless dating zombie.
We make all sorts of strategic decisions in our career lives, in our businesses, in our schooling, but what about our personal lives? If you’re not getting the results you want in your life, it’s time to examine the way you think and challenge yourself to think about the world (your world) in new ways.
So look back through your old assessments. What can they tell you about who you are and where you have room to grow? How can they encourage you to experiment with new ways of thinking and acting not just in your career or job but in your personal life as well?
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