Whenever a relationship fails or you just don't click with another person, you might be quick to blame lack of chemistry or some intangible force between the two of you that just didn't mesh. And that's true, in a sense, because it could be due to the differences in your personality types. A potential mate's personality type has a lot to do with how attractive you perceive them to be and how successful the relationship will be, and if you're a giver personality type, it could give you a serious advantage in relationships.
The Different Personality Types
Psychologist, professor, and New York Times best-selling author Adam Grant wrote the book on cultivating success through relationships. Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success is based on the simple idea that our ability to interact and communicate effectively is what holds the key to success in the modern world.
Within the 320 pages, Grant argues that people fall into one of three categories: givers, takers, and matchers. While most of his book focuses on how these three personality types operate in a professional environment, he's also spoken about how they function in a romantic sense.
According to Grant's theory, givers are motivated to take care of others, takers' primary motivation is self-interest, and matchers typically give to others with the expectation of getting something back.
The Giver Personality in Relationships
Grant categorizes the givers as the most romantically successful and attractive of the three types, but it does come at a cost. These people are kind, selfless, loving, and supportive in relationships. "The trait people most highly value in potential romantic partners (both men and women) is kindness," he explains. "Givers also tend to be affectionate, a trait that strongly affects the longevity of a relationship."
His theory is not unlike the Myers-Briggs characterization of a "giver," called an ENFJ (Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). A Myers-Briggs giver is people-focused, cares deeply about others, is extroverted, charismatic, and can connect with people, no matter their personality type. ENFJ's are warm, caring, and highly accepting of others.
Though being a giver, according to Grant, also has its drawbacks. "Givers' strongest motivation is to take care of others and to contribute to their lives in positive ways," he continues. "As a giver, you may often think about gifts for your partner or about things you can do for them." But this type of selflessness can result in them taking the blame for things or even thinking they're unlovable or not good enough since they tend to take responsibility for the relationship.
Because of this, he further argues that "in the most successful relationships, both partners are givers. In other words, when a romantic relationship works, even matchers and takers are focused on giving. Both partners might give in different ways, but they should be willing to support each other without expecting something in return. That said, when things get too far out of balance, I think we all become matchers."