As I promised in my previous post, I’m going to tell you about a category of personality types called the Connector. If you’re familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI), you probably know that most Jungian-based personality systems have 16 types. But you may be surprised to discover how useful it can be to look at only four categories. Today’s post is about a group called Connectors. They’re also known as Idealists, Catalysts and by various other names.
Connectors are all about people, relationships and meaning. They are on a never-ending quest to become their best, most authentic selves. This means becoming more compassionate, more connected to others and more “real”. This search is what gives meaning to their lives, and they often look to new age spiritual practices, teachers and beliefs for assistance. Because people of other temperaments often don’t understand their goals (or the means they use to achieve them), they may feel out of place – as if they don’t really belong here. In the US, they represent about 12% of the population, which only adds to their sense of not fitting in.
Connectors consistently put people before things and ideas – and others before themselves. They may be easily swayed by others’ opinions and emotions. They care more about how their choices will affect others than they do about following the rules, being right or getting what they want. This makes it hard to say no to a “friend in need” – even if the need (or the friendship) isn’t a serious one. They may find it equally difficult to keep their commitments, as their desire to support others often exceeds their resources.
But when they want something themselves, they may find it hard to ask. They tend to drop hints, assuming that others will get the message. Because they are so gifted at reading others, they may assume that everyone has this talent. They may see others as ignoring their needs when, in fact, they aren’t even aware of them.
Because they dislike unpleasantness, Connectors may go to great lengths to avoid or put an end to conflict. (Some will drop those hints for years, afraid to ask for what they want directly.) This may lead them to say or do things that are inauthentic, in conflict with their highest values. It’s ironic that their quest for harmony can lead them straight to inner conflict. This leads us to my top Connector tip:
Connectors need to remember that inner harmony is as important as out harmony. If you’re a Connector, don’t sacrifice your core values in order to make others happy. Their happiness will most likely be short-lived – but when a Connector violates her values, the pain is intense and not easily forgotten.
There’s so much more I’d like to tell you about Connectors, but that’s enough for now. In my next post, we’ll be looking at a group called Planners. So stay tuned – we’re just getting started!