One of our passions in life is connecting with all of you and building better relationships. Prior to starting Tomodotchi we were in the corporate world where we had to understand different personality types to effectively communicate with others. It took a lot of work and reflecting to begin to understand the differences in personalities. Therefore, we wanted to create this post on the top 3 things we have learned to better understand different personalities!
Treat people how they want to be treated
You may be thinking, “Tomodotchi, you got that wrong, don’t you mean treat people the way you want to be treated?” That is exactly what we would have thought when we were younger and it was what we were taught growing up! However, as we got older, we found that at times people did not appreciate being treated how we liked to be treated. In fact, sometimes it led to misunderstandings and miscommunication. We would wonder to ourselves, why did they misinterpret our intention? All we wanted was what we thought was best for them.
What we realized as the years went by is that, fundamentally we are all different people. We have different personalities; we like different things and we feel appreciated in different ways. If you treat everyone the way you want to be treated then you aren’t giving any consideration to their actual feelings! This was one of our most eye-opening revelations. This whole time we felt that we were going above and beyond for people. Only to now recognize that their interpretation of our actions was different from our intentions.
We’ll give you a simple example using one of our passions… Food! Imagine you were someone who loved steak. If you were to take someone out for their birthday, where would you go? Well likely, you would take them to a fancy steak house! It’s expensive, it’s nice and it shows you care right? Well, imagine you didn’t realize the other person loved chicken! The only reason you didn’t know is because the other person always said yes to steak. Likely because they wanted to show their appreciation for you! Putting yourself in their shoes, you took them somewhere you thought would show your appreciation because it’s how you wanted to be treated. In reality, if you were them, you would realize they would feel more appreciated eating at a chicken joint!
It’s hard to put ourselves in other people’s shoes without taking the “us” out of it. We only know our own challenges, our own likes/dislikes and our own situations. For most of us, unless the other person communicates their feelings and personality to us, we can never truly place ourselves in their shoes. Many times, it’s easy for us to say they should try harder or that they should do what I did. The reality is, everyone has different circumstances and what’s possible or easy for you may not be for them. The first thing is to understand this difference!
Is your head spinning? Ours was spinning when we first started to really process this. The key to truly understanding someone else starts with an understanding of different personalities. We need to be able to ask the right questions and explain our own feelings in order to create a world of better understanding. It’s important to realize that we don’t know what we don’t know. You can’t expect yourself to read people’s minds, so you need to be able to express yourself and ask questions to get others to share about themselves!
Extrovert and Introvert, what does it really mean?
As extroverts ourselves, for years we had an image of what an introvert was. We always imagined a quiet, reserved and shy person. Someone who was either alone or on the corners of the conversation. We always imagined that they were just too shy to say anything and or interact with everyone. It wasn’t until we got older that we realized the real fundamental difference, in our opinion, is how extroverts and introverts gain energy.
Extroverts gain energy from being around people. Simply to say, they need people in order to feel recharged, relaxed and happy. Introverts on the other hand gain energy by being alone or in smaller groups. Notice that this is purely about energy and has nothing to do with how good people are at speaking to one another! As we got older, we were shocked to realize that some of our most chatty and sociable friends were actually introverts!
What we recognized is that there is much more to people than just extroverts and introverts. Even within these sub categories, there are fundamental differences. So, what does this all mean? Well, to us, this made us realize even more that we cannot just make blind assumptions about people’s personalities based on their behavior or how they act. We need to learn to ask people the right questions in order to truly understand them.
Once you understand someone’s preferences, it’s good to ask how they would like to be treated. For example, one of our biggest life lessons was learning that some introverts actually did not appreciate being brought into a conversation! While we were simply treating them how we wanted to be treated. We didn’t realize that all they wanted to do was listen to the conversation and being dragged in actually caused them anxiety! This may not be isolated to just introverts either! Extroverts gain energy from others, but they may not appreciate being forced into a conversation unprepared.
This is obviously a very deep topic that you could sink hours into researching. The key is, and of course in the right context, try to understand the other person. Regardless of your assumptions you may not truly understand someone’s preferences. The key is to ask the right questions to understand people better. Once you understand their boundaries and preferences, help them feel comfortable and enforce those boundaries! You can read our past post on that here.
If you need help to understand yourself better to clearly articulate how you feel, we would highly recommend (not sponsored) that you take the Meyer’s Brigs personality test. While of course you are unique and it won’t capture everything, we’ve found that it does help at least articulate to others how you feel and want to be treated. You can take a free version of the test here! We’re ENFP’s, let us know what you are!
How we feel appreciated based on personality type
Another key concept to understand is that everyone feels appreciated, included and needed in different ways. For many, we show our appreciation or love through how we want to receive it. However, when your appreciation style doesn’t line up with your friend, co-worker, boss or partner then it can cause miscommunication.
One of our personal favorite quizzes to understand how you receive love or appreciation is called the 5 love languages (not sponsored). This can give you a very quick and easy way to understand how you feel appreciated. For us, we feel appreciated by being told that we are doing a good job. We feel recognized when small things we have done are recognized and appreciated verbally. We also like to feel included in whatever is going on. Since this is how we feel appreciated, these things are key to how we show our love and affection to others. We always try to build people up with words and we always try be as inclusive as possible.
You can imagine our shock when we were told by our partner, friends, etc. that they did not feel appreciated by us. When we pressed them on why, we realized that they had a different expectation for feeling appreciated. For them, it wasn’t about the kind words or the inclusion of every little thing. Rather they simply wanted us to do things without being asked., such as picking up the dirty laundry, wiping down the table, etc.
Funny enough, in the past we had done these chores, but we did not receive verbal recognition for doing these tasks so we felt under appreciated and stopped. However, the other person thought they were showing their appreciation by doing similar tasks without being asked. Ultimately, after understanding ourselves and talking to the other person, we recognized that we feel appreciated in different ways and more importantly that we truly appreciated one another. Everyone is fundamentally different and it’s important to learn about those differences, especially for those we really care about. Otherwise, we may be misinterpreting one another!
There is so much to cover and so many different types of personalities to define. There are literally whole books on the topic and you should check them out! This article was written to help us understand that fundamentally we are all different. Most of us only know what we know and we show love and appreciation based on ourselves. However, it’s important to realize that we all feel loved and appreciated in different ways and it’s important to learn about those you interact with. We won’t always get it right, but as long as we try and recognize our differences then, we will make progress!
Also, in a similar topic, we have discussed how we unintentionally cause anxiety in others in this post here. Also, if you are feeling particularly anxious right now, we would suggest reading our open letter to those with anxiety or depression. Finally, if you are dealing with feeling overwhelmed, our last article discusses our 3 tips to overcome feeling overwhelmed!
Ultimately, we are all different people. The way I like to be treated may not be how you like to be treated and vice versa. We need to be aware of these differences and treat people how they want to be treated. Otherwise, if you treat people like you want to be treated, they may misinterpret your feelings!
As an added bonus for our readers, we like to include a game of where are the Tomodotchi Pets. They’ve been hidden in 2 of the pictures within this post. Can you find them all? See below for what they look like!