Personality Matters - OPP's blog

Christmas, happiness and your MBTI type

Posted 05 Dec 2017 by Nikhita Dost, Consultant at OPP

What makes people happy at Christmas? 

Last year we carried out a survey to find out how different MBTI personality types view Christmas. This year we’ll give you some insight into happiness, Christmas and MBTI personality type.  

Whilst we can’t definitively say that certain activities cause different types to be happier at Christmas, there were some interesting links between what people did at Christmas, the meaning of Christmas, and how much they were expecting to enjoy Christmas. Read on for more!

How much do people enjoy Christmas?

On average, people rated their enjoyment of Christmas as 7.7 out of 10. As people got older they tended to enjoy Christmas less. The difference was small, but bear in mind that no children were questioned during the making of this research. I imagine that if they had been, the difference would be a lot bigger! There were no differences between men and women.

However, there were MBTI personality type differences. Those who prefer Extraversion were, on average, likely to enjoy Christmas significantly more than those who prefer Introversion. There was also a difference dependent on the number of people they were spending Christmas with. Those who prefer Introversion were slightly happier spending Christmas with just one other person than Extraverts were, while those who prefer Extraversion tended to be happier than the former in spending time with more people. Their enjoyment went up the more people they spent time with.

Christmas

People, even those with a preference for Introversion, were generally happier if they spent Christmas with others.

What does Christmas mean to you?

60% of people said the meaning of Christmas was about family, friends, children, togetherness and loved ones; 15% food and drink; 12% religious, 11% holiday, time off or a break from work, and 7% said it was about stress. There were type differences, though. Those with a preference for Extraversion and iNtuition were more likely to mention togetherness than those with a preference for Introversion and Sensing respectively. Those with a preference for iNtuition and Thinking were more likely to mention holiday and a break from work than those with a preference for Sensing and Feeling.

Christmas

On the whole, those who did mention togetherness and food/drink/over-indulgence were significantly more likely to enjoy Christmas than those who didn’t, regardless of type. Unsurprisingly, those who mentioned stress said they would enjoy Christmas less than those who didn’t. Now, based on the results, we can’t say that being together with loved ones and over-indulging causes happiness, but it’s Christmas, so why not!

How do people like to spend their time at Christmas? 

49% of people mentioned being with family, friends or loved ones; 34% mentioned eating, 17% presents, 9% drinking, 9% cooking, 9% visiting family or friends, 9% going to church, 7% TV, 7% walk, 7% games, and 5% having people over.

Christmas

Those who mentioned presents, eating, drinking, games and being with family or friends were expecting to enjoy Christmas more than those who didn’t. People who mentioned seeing in-laws said they would enjoy Christmas significantly less than those who didn’t!

Those who prefer Introversion were more likely than those who prefer Extraversion to go to church, those who prefer Feeling and Judging were more likely to mention being with family and friends, and those with Perceiving preferences were more likely to mention presents.

There were also some interesting personality differences regarding Christmas activities – different activities were linked to higher levels of enjoyment of Christmas for different MBTI personality types:

  • Extraversion – happier if playing games
  • Introversion – happier if they were going to drink or going to church (but not necessarily at the same time!), less happy if seeing their partner’s family or in laws
  • Sensing – less happy if seeing in laws
  • iNtuition – those who were happier mentioned presents, eating, TV and games
  • Thinking – happier if seeing family and friends
  • Feeling – happier if eating and watching TV
  • Judging – less happy if seeing in-laws
  • Perceiving – happier if playing games and seeing family and friends

Now of course, this is only based on people’s views of how much they expected to enjoy Christmas. We didn’t sneak into their houses on Christmas Day and measure how broad their smiles were, and we don’t know to what extent these activities could actually cause them to be happy. Still, we hope you find these ideas useful in the festive period.

Have a merry Christmas, and do let us know your own top tips for a happy and stress-free time!

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