I, robot…sometimes

(Image off ebay.com)I’ve been learning a lot about myself this year….starting with finding out my personality type. As I read about the characteristics and traits and strengths and weakenesses of this personality, things began to make sense about why I do the things I do (or don’t.)

Seems I’m a bit computer like where I need input to figure out an output. I need past experiences and input to form what responses in word or actions are appropriate for a current situation. So Skywalker calls me Data (the droid from TNG)…with a more advanced emotion chip. Thanks Hun.  But this does also explain my mostly expressionless face.

If it’s a new experience, particularly in relationships, I’m actually not very good at anticipating others’ feelings and emotional needs. You need to tell me so that I can build up a library of what works and what doesn’t for each person. Seems heartless…and a little callous…that I wouldn’t think of it until you inform me. But it’s not as though I’m only doing it because you said it. Understand that I’ll ask because I WANT to do it, because I care. I really do want to know what is meaningful to YOU so that I can do that for you. I tend to do unto others what they’ve shared they appreciate or else I do what I’d be ok with. In the past I have done things for others based on how I’d probably like to receive it or whatever I’d be ok receiving from others, i.e. apply the Golden Rule, but it turns out to be the wrong thing for them. I’m also quick to jump to “but does it work” and try to address that issue without taking into consideration the person’s feelings or how much effort they’ve taken to get to where they are.

My other problem, is that sometimes I don’t ask clarifying questions because I don’t know what I don’t know. Maybe it’s a new situation with a new person and I have no previous experience to draw back on or to cue me to do/say something appropriate. That’s where I appreciate someone asking or telling me about the situation. Please know that I won’t automatically feel guilty or obligated if you tell me a preference or expectation, and please don’t think that’s the only reason why I’m doing it. I really DO appreciate being informed about preferences or needs and would be happy to do what I can to meet that need or request. If I can’t meet the need, I’ll let you know or let you know of an alternative. But, if I feel that guilt is being applied, then I tend not to comply. For example, “I think Grandma misses hearing from you” (informative, no guilt applied) vs “How come you have time to ______ but not give Grandma a call?” (guilt applied).

When Skywalker and I were dating, and even into the first two years of marriage, he would wonder why I would fail to interpret and respond to a relational situation the way he would. “Dont’ people normally consider this for others?” Don’t people just KNOW to do these things?” They probably do….I’m just not one of them. From 16personalities.comThe INTJ personality type is one of the rarest and most interesting types – comprising only about 2% of the U.S. population (INTJ females are especially rare – just 0.8%).” So if gems are rare, Skywalker married one of theseLucky man! Meanwhile, we’re learning how to work with my personality type. If I’m asking questions, I’m not doing it to be annoying but because I really don’t know, and I really am just looking for more information so that I can show meaningful care. Or if I’m drawing a blank, I totally appreciate some cues as to what I should/shouldn’t do.

On the flip side, I don’t want this to be an excuse, with a “that’s just the way I am so y’all need to deal with it” mentality. I think whatever strengths/weakenesses we’re born with is just the starting point to becoming a more gracious, considerate, kind, strong, loving, etc person. Growing up, I was taught a Chinese proverb that says something to the effect of “Put more effort into whatever Nature didn’t give you.”  So I have to work a little harder in this area than some most. Thankfully, it’s not something I have to do by myself…God is ultimately the one doing an inner transformation in me, bringing out more of Christ’s character, and turning my weaknesses into new strengths. So for that, I am VERY grateful…and relieved!

“…Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Typealyzed again

I ran the Typealyzer again (which is two weeks from when I first ran it) and now it determines I’m an INTP…..which is closer to INTJ I suppose. I’d say I’m more creative than what this description makes me out to be however. =)

INTP – The Thinkers

The author of https://lifeofheart.wordpress.com is of the type INTP.

The logical and analytical type. They are especially attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications. I’m also lazy so I don’t know that I always look for something more complex to dig into. Finding connections and seeing patterns is definitely what I do.

They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Their ability to grasp complexity may also lead them to provide overly detailed explanations of simple ideas, and listeners may judge that the INTP makes things more difficult than they need to be. To the INTPs’ mind, they are presenting all the relevant information or trying to crystallize the concept as clearly as possible. Yes I’m trying to be as clear as possible…and yes, Skywalker would say I over complicate what should be simple. But I thought that’s just what women do? 😉

Since they are not very good at seeing and understanding the needs of other people, they might come across as arrogant, impatient and insensitive to people that need some time to understand what they are talking about. Yeah. I also confess to this. I’ve been working on being compassionate for the last, oh, fifteen years? I’ve also had friends later tell me when I was in university that their first impression of me was that I was cold, distant, aloof, very ‘cool’ and maybe even a little b*tchy. I think I’ve come a long way though!

Common satisfying careers: Science, Philosophy, Law and Architecture, Mathematicians, Computer Programmers, System Analystsm Engineers, Law and Forensic Research. Okay, most of this list isn’t interesting to me…maybe Architecture and Forensic Research.

Notable INTPs: Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Charles Darwin, Sigourney Weaver, Immanuel Kant, Gary Kasparov, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Tina Fey and Yoda.

I’ve also been told I show whole-brain traits…able to converse about Art as well as Science. Fashion and Theology. Philosophy and Law. Looking back at my education and career, I think this is further demonstrated as I started university by studying the Sciences, but went on to complete degrees in Commerce and Fine Arts, then got a job in IT for a while. You can say I’m well-rounded….or just really confused. =)

Typealzed

(Image not mine)

I recently came across the Typealze.com link from Spirativity. Very interesting! You enter your blog address and then the Typealyzer analyzes your blog content to determine your Myers-Briggs personality type.

This blog reveals I am an:

ISTP – The Mechanic

The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment and are highly skilled at seeing and fixing what needs to be fixed, making them ideally suited for engineering. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts. This is fairly true though if there is conflict I’m not one to shy away from getting to the root of it and trying to reach a resolution.
The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often seek out fun and action both in their work and personal life. Also true.
ISTPs endure reasonable impositions without complaint — but if their “territory” is encroached upon, eroded, or violated, their quiet, easy-going nature is quickly abandoned in favor of stubborn and staunch defense of what they view as rightfully theirs. I would say if my “territory” was encroached upon without a valid reason, then I get prickly. But if it’s pointed out reasonably why “my territory” actually isn’t…then I can let it go.
Common satisfying careers: policemen or firefighters and work that involve adventure and risk such as in driving race cars, skydiving, motorcycling and diving. Uh…no thanks. I wouldn’t do any of that except maybe diving. I do more risk calculation and mitigation in real life.
Notable ISTPs: Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, Scarlett Johansson, Kyudo Nakagawa, Bruce Lee, Snoop Dogg, Ellen Page, Erwin Rommel, James Bond and Boba Fett. Yeah can’t say I feel I relate to any of these people.

I then took a quick MB test to see what I actually am, though, given that this was a ‘quick’ personality test it’s possible the analysis is slightly off. It could also be this blog is my more creative side being expressed. Apparently I am an INTJ which is a strong rationalizer….and I find the description to be more true of regular myself. Interestingly it says I’m only slightly more introvert than extrovert. I’ve described myself as an introvert with extrovert blood so this perhaps confirms it. It’s totally true I assess everything with “but does it work?” because if not, then do something else obviously! It’s also true that I like to see what might be and ask “why not?” and perhaps that trait lends itself to why I believe one of my Spiritual Gifts is Faith.

I love this line….INTJ’s may “find it useful to learn to simulate some degree of surface conformism in order to mask their inherent unconventionality.” Haha!! Yes…I have found myself to be rather unconventional and so I find myself trying to learn how people are “supposed” to be and emulate where reasonable.

This description of INTJ’s in relationships is also true about me:

Probably the strongest INTJ assets in the interpersonal area are their intuitive abilities and their willingness to “work at” a relationship.  Although as Ts they do not always have the kind of natural empathy that many Fs do, the Intuitive function can often act as a good substitute by synthesizing the probable meanings behind such things as tone of voice, turn of phrase, and facial expression.  This ability can then be honed and directed by consistent, repeated efforts to understand and support those they care about, and those relationships which ultimately do become established with an INTJ tend to be characterized by their robustness, stability, and good communications.

Skywalker read it and said I’m like the Data on Star Trek. Sigh. It’s a little trippy reading an analysis of your own personality. Now I don’t know if I’ll act more like the description because I’ve read it or if I’ll just be more aware because I’ve read it. Regardless, I think it’s wonderful to note that every personality reflects the incredibly diverse image of God in whom we were created.

Happily I note that Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, Michelle Obama, John F. Kennedy, Gandalf and Mr. Darcy are fellow INTJ’s; and not so happily, Lance Armstrong, Hannibal Lector and Professor Moriarty. I guess my personality gone wrong is psychopathic. Doh.

I Wish I Knew…12

…Personality profoundly influences behavior

This is the last chapter of “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” by Gary Chapman. And while I know personality affects behavior…I didn’t know how it would come out in my marriage. I didn’t completely know Skywalker before we got married. Who really ever does though right? I’ve heard it said that getting married itself changes you as a person, and you continually change through time, so it’s impossible to fully know your spouse. Some people use this as an excuse to end a relationship. “I feel like I don’t know him anymore” or “She’s no longer the person I married”. I think those are selfish and lame excuses…granted some changes in people become very harmful (i.e. addictions, abuse) and separation is waranted…but believing someone will never change or that you know someone 100% is a little naive.

Skywalker first entered my consciousness four months before we started dating. (Though interestingly our social circles have been overlapping for 10+ years). We dated 8.5 months before getting engaged. We were engaged for another 9 months before getting married. Can I say I completely know Skywalker? No. Do I need to completely know him before deciding to marry him? No. Am I aware that I’ll be discovering a lot of things about him/me/us along the way? Absolutely. It’s why we wrote into our wedding vows to “love who you are. And love who you’ll become.” That’s actually something I’m looking forward to! It’ll take work. It’ll take effort. It’ll take a little unraveling of myself (and him). But changing together is something that will weave our marriage tighter.

The book brings up these personality pairings:

  • Half full or Half empty :: The classic optimist/pessimist pair with the optimist more willing to take risks and the pessimist being more cautious. I’m more of an optimist compared to Skywalker.
  • Neatniks and Slobs :: Pretty self explanitory. If the “slob” can’t do something exactly the way the “neatnik” wants it, then either the Neatnik takes care of that item from now on, or accepts how the Slob takes care of it. Thankfully, we’re both pretty neat.
  • Dead Sea and Babbling Brook :: This is the observer, who takes everything in and divulges little, compared to someone who’s compelled to speak everything they see, hear or think. I think I babble a little more than Skywalker…but neither of us are super talkative.
  • Pointer and Painter :: One gets straight to the point and tells you only what’s necessary and the other describes the complete picture…with all the detail and context you could possibly want to hear about. We’re a little of both…and in slightly different ways. For example, I give brief instructions but will paint how I’m feeling. Skywalker gives detailed instructions but is brief about his emotions.
  • Passives and Aggressives :: Passives wait for things to happen, aggressives make it happen. I think we’re also a little of both in that some things we’re passive on and other things we’re aggressive on. Sometimes when I want to make something happen is exactly the time Skywalker wants to wait on it. And vice versa.
  • Professors and Dancers :: This is talking about the logic versus intuitive minds. Skywalker’s definitely all logic. I’m a bit of both.
  • The Organizer and The Free Spirit :: Lastly, this describes the scheduled/organized verus the spontaneous. We’re a little of both, but again, in different areas…just to keep us on our toes.

Often opposites attract each other. It seems to balance out great at the beginning when everything is tempered by the euphoric “in love” feeling. “I love her spontenaity!” “He’s such a good listener!” But when the daily grind of life together in marriage carries on, you may find your spouse’ personality restrictive. Or dull. Or irresponsible. Etc.

We’re learning that at the end of the day, you are who you are and your spouse is who s/he is. Marriage isn’t about YOUR comfort and happiness as much as it isn’t about HIS/HER’s comfort and happiness….it’s about finding unity as ONE couple. We need to respect and empathize with each other’s comfort zones. Love never demands the other person to “do it my way”. Loving someone means doing what you can to find out how you can accomodate the other person better. Loving someone also means to graciously accept what can’t be changed.

Love each other. Love who you each become.