what have I learned

Have you heard of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator?

Many of you have both heard about this personality inventory that helps individuals learn where they fit in the psychological types described by Carl Jung. If you go to the link I just provided you’ll get a great overview. There are sixteen personality types, and unlike some other assessing tools, there are no good or bad types. In fact when Proman and I took the test and learned in what ways we were similar as well as different, suddenly many mysteries in our relationship were explained. All without rancor or judgment.

Sixteen personality types or four? 

Instead of breaking the test into sixteen personality types, some psychologists and writers have condensed them into four basic archetypes. For people, like me, whose assessment has an N (intuition or a preference to interpret and add meaning) and F (looking at people and their special circumstances instead of relying completely on facts and logic) finding meaning in everyday occurrences and events is crucial. No surprise many NFs are writers, clerics, and social workers.

Of course there are degrees in every category. Proman and I are absolute opposites in the “structure” category. I want closure quickly and closure makes him unhappy. No surprise that until we understood this was simply a difference between us, neither good nor bad, he thought I was judgmental and I thought he was wishy-washy. (Not that either of this would have put it quite that way.) In another category, though, I’m an introvert and he’s an extrovert. For that type, both of us are moderate. He’s more likely to want to go to parties than I am, but not by a lot.

I find the Myers-Briggs valuable for more than just my marriage.

I’ve used the Myers-Briggs throughout my career. I’ve figured out where my characters are on the inventory and what they might do because of it. I’ve looked at what kind of readers probably like what kind of books–not always mine, by a long shot if they value a thrill a minute. And I’ve even used it to figure out publishing professionals I come in contact with. It’s a great tool. I recommend you check it out. This is a perfect time in history to understand yourself a little better.

So what have I learned about myself right now?

One of the questions NFs tend to ask themselves is “What have I learned from this?” Remember we want to find meaning in everything. I’ve been asking myself that question a lot since quarantine began. Not because I want to pretend the pandemic is really a good thing. It’s not. Not because I have to have a happy ending. I don’t. I’ve been asking because it’s clear that quarantine is not almost over with, no matter what politicians running for office are pretending. So while we’re hunkered down, we might as well learn a few things. Not just Spanish and sourdough–both I’m enjoying immensely–but what I’ve learned from this moment in history.

I’ll point out that some of the things I’ve learned about our world frighten me. But let’s not go there. Let’s talk on a personal level.

My conclusions so far.

My personal revelation is anything but earth shaking to anyone but me. I’ve learned how busy my life was and how it took an act of Mother Nature to make me slow down and start breathing slowly and naturally. After many years of raising four children, pursuing a career, being the wife of a minister and moving from state to state repeatedly, I had learned to run at top speed through every obstacle and along every road that presented itself. Now, unable to do that, I find I don’t miss all the events and appointments.

This is my first big revelation, and now I’m dissecting what I do miss and hope to regain once restrictions are lifted. Do I really need to attend this and this? Can I filter out the things I haven’t missed a bit?

Conversely I’ve learned that what really does matter are the people in my life, many of whom I’ve neglected because I’ve been so “busy.” How can I change that in the future? How can I make sure the “Covid-Affect” doesn’t disappear and I go back to racing harder through life?

Now what about you?

Now it’s your turn (no matter what personality type you are) to tell us what you’ve learned. Ask yourself, what have I learned about myself through this ordeal? Not about other people, but about yourself. What have your discovered about who you are and how you want to change–or not? Have you considered it already? Or is this an intriguing new idea?

Let us know.

1 Comment

  1. FORSTROM ROSEMARY on September 23, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing this today. I find myself to be I,S,T,P. Reading these things about myself are no surprise. Logical, analytical, practical, adaptable, curious, cool, observer, problem-solver, exact, realistic, troubleshooter, hands-on, variety, adventurous and independent. The only word I really question is adventurous. I would never use that word to describe myself. That I will have to think about. I would have added irritating because I do know my approach to life is sometimes irritating to others. In my personal married life I was a good balance for my husband and he was the same for me. Our daughter recently reminded me how I irritated her dad at times because we didn’t agree on how to solve a current problem. This is true but between us we found a way to get things done even when I continued to tell him how I would do it while he did things his own way.

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