When you decided to go to Point Loma Nazarene University, they have you take this survey called StrengthsQuest, and they take it quite seriously. It’s these series of questions like the Meyers-Briggs but slightly different. The point is to find these 5 strengths out of 34 which best describe you, and I would say that mine describe me pretty well. I never really dwelled on the results until recently.
Restorative: People strong in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.
Adaptability: People strong in the Adaptability theme prefer to “go with the flow.” They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.
Individualization: People strong in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.
Developer: People strong in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements.
Relator: People who are strong in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
All of them other than adaptability basically revolve around others, but recently, I have been thinking about my relator strength and how I’m really starting to see it… A LOT.
Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people — in fact, you may have other themes that cause you to enjoy the thrill of turning strangers into friends — but you do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. You want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams; and you want them to understand yours. You know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk — you might be taken advantage of — but you are willing to accept that risk. For you a relationship has value only if it is genuine. And the only way to know that is to entrust yourself to the other person. The more you share with each other, the more you risk together. The more you risk together, the more each of you proves your caring is genuine. These are your steps toward real friendship, and you take them willingly.
When I looked this up and I read it earlier today, I was astounded… I truly do value those personal intimate relationships and knowing those people closely. Some of my other strengths like to bring out the best in others, developer and individualization, but relator is at the core of it all. I try to get to know those around me more deeply, trying to dig into who they and what makes them function. Most of all, I want to see how God is working their life. God works in crazy ways which are so particular to the individual. I want to know their likes and dislikes, their passions and their apathies, who they are and how they got there. The more I understand an individual, the more I see God.
This strength is evident in almost every aspect of my life… at times to the point of frustration. I know that there are things going on with people and I know there is a fear that gets to every person, but I want to know what those are. Yeah, that’s a bit nosey but I really just want to get to know people. So I’ll shoot up some questions to get to know them, but when they absolutely don’t allow me to get to know them, I get completely frustrated: “I wanna get to know who you are, but you won’t let me.” Let’s just say it’s hard to get some people to really talk about their fears… especially when their fears are of other people.
This is just one thing I’m starting to get to know about myself… I never realized that someone’s lack of openness could aggravate me so much. haha. Well, I encourage you to look at your strengths. I never realized that some “stupid” little survey could teach me so much about myself, same with the Meyers-Briggs if you ever get around to that. Silly surveys although not completely accurate can tell you great things about yourself. They got me to notice things I never would have before.