Thursday, May 21, 2015

How and Understanding of Personality Type Can Help You

Once I told a school principal that I had studied personality type for thirty years. His reply was that he knew of a woman who studied bumps on people's heads. I hardly felt they are in the same category! Wasn't he aware that his school district (along with most of the world) used the Myers- Briggs Type Indicator to help high school students find the right career path?

Not only does personality type help people
find jobs that they can do well and enjoy, it also helps in working with your boss and co-workers. The understanding I have gained from my study of personality type has helped me to build a fulfilling marriage and raise four children. Through the understanding I have gained, I have been better able to love, understand, forgive, and nurture those around me. Even more than that, it has helped me to better understand myself.  It has given me the confidence to be me - to develop and share my own unique talents.

I know some people don't want to be "typed". They feel that their individuality is being denied. Of course everyone is unique. We all come from a rich, diverse genetic and cultural background. Even identical twins aren't "identical", but one of a kind individuals. People do not come in 16 clone personality types like ice cream flavors.

Personality type can only help us understand a few basic similarities which people might have. It helps us to be aware of other's needs which are different than our own and to act in a more appropriate way with them. Some people need to be around other people and deal with the real world (extroverts), and some people need time alone to think (introverts). Some people need plenty of facts (sensors), and others need to discover the possibilities (initiatives).  Some make decisions based on logic (thinkers) and others on personal values (feelers). Some want to make decisions right now (judging), and others want to keep their options open (perceptive).

We are all different, but I find it comforting to know that there are other people who also like to see the world as I do -- who like to see the possibilities of the future, think deeply, and made decisions based on values (INFJ). Personality type has helped me come to appreciate differences instead of feeling frustrated by them. Also, an awareness of people's basic type helps keep my foot out of my mouth; at least most of the time!

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