Friday, September 3, 2010
While on vacation over a week ago, my sister (hubby's sis by blood but mine by wineries) and I did personality tests. We shopped together at Barnes & Noble and found a cliff note versionof the Myers Briggs (What Type am I? Discover Who You Really Are by Renee Baron). We took the test for ourselves, then asked the rest of our company to do same over a campfire and multiple libations (us, not them). I probably don't have to tell you how hilarious that turned out to be. At one point, Jen was literally wiping tears from her eyes while her husband (Uncle Pete to us) answered his questionnaire out loud. At one point my husband let out a series of audible exhales that could be categorized as an actual burst of spontaneous laughter. But Dear God don't tell him I said so. The Marine Corps would fire him.
Turns out we are all very much how we seem. According to the author of this booklet anyway.
I am an ISFJ which stands for Introvert, Sensing, Feeling, Judging type. Not so proud of the J but they promise it doesn't mean I think I'm judge and jury; it has more to do with valuing order. Under a judging type phrases like these appear: seeks closure, values structure, plans ahead, work now/play later, goal-oriented, likes things settled and decided. That's more like it, Renee, you had me worried.
My hubby is one letter off. He is an ISTJ. The T stands for Thinking. He thinks; I feel. He is camouflage and crossword puzzles. I am pink bunny slippers and uncooked brownie dough. So on and so forth. Only one letter off yet an entire world apart.
While I've understood our differences & similarities for over eight years, somehow just being reminded of our very personal and distinctly different fundamental value system (and the decisions we make on a daily basis because of them) is enlightening. If he sorts through the mail before kissing me upon returning home from travel, I don't get bent about it. He thinks, he sorts, he organizes. It's who he is and helps to keep him in his safe and happy zone. I try not to request he recognize or validate my waves of insecurities and emotions whenever they wash up on my shore. Admittedly, they can be numerous, illogical and simply a nuance of being female. My husband is not my girlfriend. He is a man and all male at that. In addition to his testosterone makeup, he is also a thinker and a rationalizer. Thinkers think. My thinker thinks while he cleans, works, cooks (yes I know, I'm very lucky) and tidies up. Anything else would be a waste of time for him. Thinkers can't pay a lot of credence to fluctuating moods with weepy eyes or huggy arms, it's not the right fit for them. Besides, feelers do that enough for both of them. This feeler does enough for the both of them. In our marriage we are getting really good at seeing that both personality types keep us balanced. Sure both types can also lead to imbalance, upset our apple cart and result in definite casualties from differing value systems but that's for us to chew on. Mostly, we have become a working machine with a sturdy chrome axle (him) and flexible copper dipped in magenta hinges (me).
Obviously, I could rattle on about this forever...I find it socially fascinating...so I'll stop here.
Suffice it for me to say this book was a well-timed gift for me. Not only in reminding me the differences between husband and myself are not only okay but necessary but also for understanding myself, my friends, and people at large. Ultimately, we are all probably just one letter off yet probably worlds apart. It's always better to understand we all come from individual value systems that have shaped our natural tendencies into who we are, into how we are perceived.
Take the test. Then make your significant other take it. But don't forget to pour each other a smooth drink of your desired treat before hand. You will end up enjoying some spot-on realizations with notes of honey and self-enlightenment.