Many personality types need to find meaning in life events, but it can be challenging, especially when they experience misfortune. If you believe that everything – good and bad – happens for a reason, you aren’t alone: according to our research, 78% of respondents across all personality types share your belief. But while many see this perspective as optimistic, others see it as unrealistic, preferring to accept at face value life’s random collection of chance, accident, and cause and effect.
We wanted to find out which personality aspects are associated with the research statement, “All things, good or bad, happen for a reason,” so we asked our readers. Here’s how each personality type responded:
Some key points are apparent when looking at the personality survey data:
- There were only marginal differences between Energy and Identity traits.
- More noticeable differences occurred between the Mind (83% of Extraverts agreed vs. 77% of Introverts) and Nature aspects (84% of Feeling types agreed, while only 72% of Thinking types agreed).
- The Judging (82%) and Prospecting (78%) traits also slightly influenced our readers’ responses.
With this in mind, let’s now take a closer look at the results, starting with the Roles.
Diplomats (84% agreeing)
Not surprisingly, Diplomats by and large believe that everything happens for a reason – at 84%, theirs is the highest rate of agreement among the Role groups. After all, as Intuitive personalities, Diplomats find connections and meaning in events that often go unnoticed by others. Also, Diplomats see things in emotional terms, leading them to always seek harmony in their lives – which is certainly good motivation for believing that everything happens for a reason.
Diplomats with the Judging trait, like Protagonists (ENFJ), search for meaning as a way of finding closure regarding their past struggles and handling the uncertainty of the future. In fact, Protagonists were the most likely personality type to agree with our statement, at 89%. Protagonists may seek closure as a means of reassuring those they inspire and lead that nothing is random: everything happens for a reason – and, eventually, will come to an end or spark a new beginning.
Always Observant Sentinels had the second-highest agreement score at 81%, largely due to their Judging personality trait – clearly, their deep-rooted desire for predictability and stability feeds into their need for answers that make sense. Unlike Diplomats, however, Sentinels may interpret “everything happens for a reason” literally rather than philosophically, looking for concrete, logical reasons instead of hidden meanings or life lessons.
There is a lot of disparity among these personality types, though, as Sentinels are far from a homogeneous Role group. Those with the Feeling trait, like Consuls (ESFJ), had a high agreement score of 86%, whereas Logisticians (ISTJ), who are guided by the Thinking trait, had one of the lowest agreement scores of any type – only 68%. Consuls rely on their moral compass based on established traditions and laws when evaluating life events, while Logisticians tend to evaluate events in the narrow, literal view of cause and effect.
The high average score of Explorer respondents (77%) belies a high variance among the personality types. Grounded in the present by their Observant trait, Explorers are less likely than other groups to spend any considerable amount of time evaluating the past or future. However, looking at Entertainers (ESFP) (82%) and Virtuosos (ISTP) (68%), we see again that the Feeling trait increases the agreement score considerably.
Entertainers are likely to find meaning in most things, but their impulsivity may also cause them to avoid the deep analysis favored by Diplomats. Those with the Virtuoso personality, on the other hand, take a more relaxed approach, believing that life is made up of the good as well as the bad and not worrying too much about each event’s purpose.
Although it’s not surprising that Analysts are the lowest-scoring group overall, it is surprising that they still had a relatively high agreement score, with 73% saying that everything happens for a reason. Their Intuitive trait may be the key – Analysts are always searching for meaning, so it may be the case that this impulse often outweighs the logical, rational influence of their Thinking trait.
Logicians (INTP) (65%) agreed the least of any personality type. People with this personality type are highly receptive to alternate theories, so long as they’re supported by logic and facts. When people base their arguments about why things happen only in terms of subjectivity and feeling, Logicians are quick to point out that assigning meaning to events in this way is simply a coping strategy.
Social Engagement and People Mastery (85% and 82% agreeing)
Social Engagers and People Masters, both Extraverted Strategies, had the highest agreement scores. Both Turbulent and Assertive Extraverts are more likely to find themselves in conversations about life events, which may involve exchanging ideas about why something happened or what it meant. Understanding how the people and environment around them impact their own lives feeds their energy and enthusiasm.
Constant Improvement and Confident Individualism (77% and 76%)
The Introverted Strategies – Constant Improvement and Confident Individualism – have very close general agreement scores. As Introverts, their shared tendency to rely on themselves and their inner worlds includes searching for answers to life’s events. However, Constant Improvers may find themselves in an endless cycle of rumination and self-doubt because they fear being wrong in the eyes of others. Confident Individualists, on the other hand, hold their own opinions firmly, but tend to see little reason to try to convince others – theirs is a “live and let live” attitude. Perhaps each personality agrees with the premise that everything happens for a reason simply because it can’t be proved or disproved: it’s just one way of looking at life.
Despite some variation, a majority of individuals across all personality types agreed that everything happens for a reason. This tells us that most people want to find meaning and purpose in everything that happens in their lives. Believing everything happens for a reason helps many deal with life’s misfortunes and uncertainty, especially when something unexpected occurs.
While some personality types look at life philosophically, believing in hidden meanings and lessons in everything, others seek out concrete evidence and logical suggestions for why things happen, not theories based on sentiment and emotion. There are few, however, who are able to accept life’s randomness without looking for reason or purpose. The truth is, we don’t know for sure if everything happens for a reason, but most of us have faith that there is a reason for everything.
Do you believe that everything happens for a reason? Why or why not? Leave us a comment and let us know!