Have you ever thought about who God truly created you to be? I was lucky to have been chosen to be a part of Anne Bogel’s launch team for her book Reading People. I have always enjoyed taking tests like the Myers-Briggs, the Enneagram and many personality tests. Almost every time I took the test, I came out as an “INFJ” on the Myers-Briggs and always as a #2 on the Enneagram. In reading Anne’s book, I learned more about who God truly has created me to be. Throughout the book, I found moments of peace and contentment while there were also times when I felt fear.
As a writer, I have always seen myself as a strong introvert. One who enjoys spending time alone with a good book. One who carries strong emotions within herself. One who who is highly intuitive of others. But in reading about introverts, I also found myself realizing that there is a part of me who is extroverted in some senses of the word. I love being around my people. I also have absolutely no problem wearing my heart on my sleeve which according to Bogel is “extroverted feeling.” I have been known to cry at Hallmark commercials and my last Sunday at one of the churches I served, I had 5 boxes of Kleenex stashed under the pulpit.
Talk about words hitting me straight in the gut!!
“People who lead with extroverted feeling wear their hearts on their sleeves. They are quick to display their feelings and opinions and are equally quick to turn to others for emotional support. They can’t fully relax unless those around them are happy and healthy. They are highly reactive to other’s peoples feelings and prone to reflecting others’ emotions back to them. They are expressive, accommodating, and sensitive to criticism.”
In my life, I have always been labeled as the encourager. Those words could not be more true. But I also get life when those words are shared with me. This quote from Anne’s book really stuck out to me.
“For a person who needs words of affirmation, it’s all about words, words, words! These people love compliments, thoughtful notes, and encouraging texts. Kindness is universally important; these people crave it–and appreciate it–most of all. They need to be sincerely thanked for what they do, and they need to regularly hear the actual words I love you.”
As I read those words, I started to begin to understand why this is so much of who I am. I need to hear it myself and so I give it freely to others in the hopes that it will be returned back to me.
On the Enneagram, I am indeed a #2; the helper! A year ago, I took Jennifer Duke’s Lee’s Happiness quiz and one of my top happiness styles is the “giver.” I would much rather give to others than receive which also plays directly into my role as a #2 on the Enneagram. God made me uniquely to be someone who is always called to help others. And explains a lot about my call to “word and service ministry”; one who is called to pick up basin and towel and serve all God’s people no matter who they are.
It also explains a lot about why my blood pressure rises when I see the awfulness, the evil, and the darkness in our world spewed out on the news, through social media feeds, etc. Everything within me wants to fix it immediately! The truth is we all have different gifts and have been called to use them in this broken fractured world.
“We all have different talents and bring different things to the table. And we are all happiest when we get to capitalize on our strengths and be appreciated for them.”
It is hard to know ourselves. But when we truly know ourselves, there is so much gift in sharing our whole self with the world. Do me a favor, friends! Go read Anne’s book Reading People and learn more about who God has created you to be. It is one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself and those you love.
“Truly knowing yourself is one of the hardest things you can do, but it’s also one of the most valuable.”
As my friends and readers, what stands out to you about my personality? How do you see these characteristics lived out in my words and actions? Do you agree or disagree with who these tests say that I am?
I am linking up with these lovely ladies: Kelly and the RaRa linkup, Jennifer and Tell His Story, Holley and Coffee for your Heart, and Kristin and Porch Stories!