Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 44 - ENTJ, HSP, POTUS, USA and other Acronyms that Define Us

Who are you?  In young adulthood we begin to understand what we're made of and who we are.  The tribulations and tests that define us make us aware of who we are.  In the comfort of home when we are young, there is no need to question or inquire ourselves about this notion of self-identity.  As we get older, the notion becomes much more important and pertinent.  As I've grown older, I have discovered that I'm and ENTJ with HSP who is not OCD.

My mother bought me a pillow on one of her visits to Florida which had a saying embroidered on the front.  Mirror, mirror on the wall, I've become my mother after all.   I think she found that amusing.  I found it questioning the truth.  In some respects I believe we parent like our parents subconsciously.  I say things that after they're out of my mouth I think, where did that come from?  I didn't even know I remembered that from my childhood!  Things like, "Go play in the road. If you had a brain in your big toe you would be dangerous. They must be on drugs! I'm the parent, you're the child." and many many more.  We call this family folklore.  Things in your family that being part of the family everybody understands but somebody outside of the family doesn't have a clue what you are talking about.

But truth be told, I'm nothing like my mother when it comes to personality.  There are sixteen personality types defined by Myers Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI) that are common across not only America but across all cultures in the entire world.  You can type yourself by googling the MBTI personality test and answering a few questions.  I am an ENFJ.  I'm in good company with three POTUS (Presidents of The US) Lincoln, Reagan, Obama, Oprah and Andy Griffith.

ENFJ's are summarized as: ENFJs are lively and enthusiastic facilitators who apply warmth and vision to helping people and meeting their needs. They are aware of people's aspirations and develop plans of action to make those aspirations into reality. They like organization and closure. They are at their best facilitating situations that require interpersonal sensitivity. ENFJs are tolerant and appreciative of others, seeking involvement with them in life's tasks. They are able communicators who are liberal in showing appreciation for others. They are deeply hurt by a cruel or thoughtless comment and can shatter when a parent, teacher, or other yells. Percentage of the US population: 3-5%


Notice only 3-5%!  I know that I get along with many people but my own family can seem like strangers. As I began to understand the dynamics a family has as the personalities develop within the family, there was a clearer understanding of why relationships within my family sometimes were smooth or sometimes caused friction.  It's frustrating not being able to find somebody else like me.According to the best type of relationships I only get along with 29-40% of the population which are mostly made up of small percentage groups combined for this total.  In other words, it's hard for me to find these small groups individually let alone more than one or two of them.  Now add to this, my boyfriend has additionally diagnosed me with being a HSP. Highly-Sensitive Person. He read what some PhD wrote:

Elaine Aron, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist based in San Francisco and author of The Highly Sensitive Person, first identified what she calls the "Highly Sensitive Personality" in an academic paper in the early '90s. She spent the next two decades getting her message out. According to Aron, what all HSPs share is an uncommon ability to pick up on subtleties that others might miss - a look, a feeling, a message embedded in a seemingly straightforward statement. "It's like they're wearing an extra pair of glasses," she says. HSPs are hardwired differently than the rest of the population.

Yup, that's me, I notice EVERYTHING.  A look, a grimace, an eye movement, an itch, a pause in speech.  It's uncanny. What amazed me up until this diagnosis is that very few others notice it as well! I thought that everyone could see these things and couldn't understand why other people would say things that clearly hurt other people. Now that I found out why not everyone sees this too I don't feel like anyone ever understands me.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing it's just combined with the need to be understood as a strong part of my personality, it's frustrating when people don't try to understand who I am.

That being said. Most of us when we type the families we are in now or the families we grew up in, we find that we are not like our parents at all.  And our children aren't exactly like us either. We may repeat things we learned in our childhoods but the core of our being is dramatically different.  The right thing to do for many of us is to type ourselves and really know who we are.  By doing this we then can solve problems in our relationships.  Particularly as parents of teenagers, I encourage this strongly.

The best example I can give is when Felipe and Jula arrived in our home. Remember MBTI types are international.  We typed them as soon as we felt their english was good enough to understand the questions on the personality tests.  We learned that both were type P as it relates to controlling the world around themselves.  P's control their world inside their mind.  We were both J's so we control the world around us by creating list(s) and then organizing the lists.  The difference results in J's expecting P's to do things as soon as they are told.  Well P's aren't wired that way.  The most effective way to parent a P is to tell them what is expected of them, set a deadline and a consequence for not meeting that deadline.  The J children will do the task immediately and check it off their list and the P children will wait until the last possible minute and still complete it on time.

This used to drive me crazy but once I understood who they were it was kind of like being a mind reader because you would know them better than they knew themselves.  Now that I understand this I wish my mother would as there are many times I know she doesn't know who I am. Over the years I have taken on physical characteristics that make me look like my mother. Defined by WHO I AM however,  I am not like her in many more ways than I am like her.  I'm sure my kids think the same of me.  And I'm sure they think I need one more acronym just like I think my mother does. Of all the acronyms that define us, the only one I wish we as mothers would be graced with is ESP!

Nurture by Nature: Understand Your Child's Personality Type – And Become a Better Parent Barbara Barron-Tieger and Paul D. Tieger 




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