Monday, September 04, 2006

Sees Much But Shares Little

My latest embarassing song addiction:

Definitely not a classic! I started listening to it recently and have it on repeat. Yes I know it's over three years old. Oddly enough, considering my lip fiasco, it's strangely appropriate. The taste of my lips probably would be toxic right about now. *LOL*.

Hemingway I recently took a personality test at Eugene's urging to get a better understanding of who I am. The test is known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. Eugene took the test years back when he was a dorm counselor and he swore that the results fit in with his personality so well. Naturally he was curious where I fit and after hearing about the test, I was naturally curious myself.

Years ago when I first started at my current job, I took a personality test called TDF. It was designed to gauge your preferred mode of dealing with issues. The order of the letters were determined based on a series of adjectives and the frequency you used said adjective. T stood for thinking, D stood for deciding, and F stood for Feeling. My order was TFD, which signified that I typically think about a given situation first, feel out how it may affect me and others, and then decide.

When I got my results for that test, I did find a lot of what was said was true about me. I usually do prefer working through issues on my own before assisting others. Also whenever I get stressed, I withdraw myself from a given situation. The link I provided above gives a more detailed outlook on the six different types.

Myers-Briggs breaks down your personality in even more detail. It lumps your overall personality into four different categories. Each category you fall in is given a letter, just like in TDF. It sums up how different people approach life. According to the theory, we're all born with a predispostion for certain personality preferences. This is an unconscious preference that feels the most natural and comfortable.

The first letter you receive is assigned based on how you like your world. Do you let the whole world in or do you tend to shut off most of it? Are you an Extravert or Introvert?

The second letter you receive is assigned based on how you like to receive your information. Do you tend to focus on only the facts or do you add your own interpretations and meanings? Are you a Sensor or INtuitive?

The third letter you receive is assgined based on your approach to making decisions. Do you prefer to look at things logically or do you look at the affect on people and the circumstances of the given situation? Are you a Thinker or a Feeler? (Wow...that's TDF in a nutshell...*LOL*)

The final letter you receive is based on your approach to structure. Do you prefer to have plans or are you more spontaneous? Are you a Judger or Perceiver?

The four letters all together determines the category you fall under. There's up to 16 different combinations. ESTJ, ESTP, ESFJ, ESFP, ENTJ, ENTP, ENFJ, ENFP, ISTJ, ISTP, ISFJ, ISFP, INTJ, INTP, INFJ, and INFP.

I took the test online at My Life Coach. The basic STEP 1 test that just summarizes your personality is $29.95 and the STEP II test, which I took, was $49.95. According to Eugene, it was one of the cheaper prices for the test, which can run as high as $100.

Basically the test is divided into four sections and they focus a lot on what you consider your ideal situation. It does get a bit repetitive but I think it basically is looking to see if you're pretty consistent in your answering.

So after taking the test, it was concluded without a doubt that I'm an ISFP. Reading through the detailed analysis, I could see a lot of it in me. (Psycho-jumbo ahead warning...*LOL*. ) Adjectives to describe us: Gentle, Sensitive, and Compassionate. ISFPs are typically the most unassuming and down-to-earth of all types. Characteristically people of few words, they show deep loyalty and commitment to family and friends and second to the few select causes they hold dear. ISFP tend to take things more personally and only allow a few people inside their private thoughts and feelings. We tend to not impose our values on others and follow the path of least resistance, responding to change rather than resisting or controlling it. ISFPs often put other folks needs ahead of their own. Also they tend to not be assertive and as a result don't readily speak up in their defense. ISFP strive to maintain harmony and please others, which means they'll hold back their true feelings, even at their detriment.

I can see myself a lot in that description. Of course individual ISFP's have even more unique quirks within themselves that distingush them from other ISFPs and obviously the other 15 categories, but nonetheless the generalizations seem pretty accurate.

I even went so far as to purchase a couple books relating to the subject. It's mostly books on relating yourself to other folks that fall under other categories.

Eugene for example is an ENTP. He tends to be the life of the party and doesn't take things as personally as I do. He has the ability to see the big picture in things and thrive on negotiations and debating. ENTPs tend to be flexible and adaptable to any given situation and are able to turn on a dime if the situation calls for a different approach.

He actually helped me out in a recent Ebay situation I found myself in where the seller hadn't delivered my product. I tend to be nonconfrontational, taking the email approach, wherease Eugene is more direct and wanted to speak to the person personally. I got the seller's phone information and he basically called him on my behalf pretending to be me while I listened in. Eugene thrives on that kind of stuff while I avoid it. Afterwards I emailed the seller to confirm that he would send me a refund as promised. That seller didn't know what he had coming...:-)

Eugene gets into these deep philosophical debates that I find little interest in. I find myself quite exhausted when he discusses ad nauseum the injustices of the world & how the United States raped numerous third world countries of their resources to make bigger fortunes for themselves. This particular debate came about while I was in Boston visiting him (and has come up a couple times before then). We were walking around Copley Place and he was observing this 40-something white lady walking with lots of shopping bags and she was talking to a girlfriend with bags of her own about shopping somewhere else.

As we're walking through Copley Place and made our way to Public Gardens and Boston Commons, long passing the 40-something that triggered the discussion, he's getting more vocal. We're walking through crowds of people doing their thing and I'm thinking what are strangers that don't even know us thinking if they're listening in. Then I'm thinking how am I expected to solve the injustices.

While Eugene was feeling energized by the discussion (well more of a speech since I pretty much just said uh huh, yep, *LOL*), it was mentally exhausting me. It's not that I'm not smart..*LOL*. I was getting overwhelmed because I was taking his admonishment over what society has become personally. I was at a loss to think what I as an individual could do about it. Was I expected to live in a garbage dumpster and not strive to raise my lot in life? Apparently not since he mentioned a friend of his who he says "downplays" his privileges in an attempt to make himself feel better about the injustices his forefathers caused. But he says this friend could afford to go wherever he wants to on the drop of a hat and always has that privilege to fall back on.

He then mentions the struggles that blacks have to do to get a decent wage. Even those that rise up above the poverty have to struggle with paying off huge student loans whereas students of privilege don't have the burden of student loans and can enjoy life a lot sooner.

To me: It's almost like a damn if you do, damn if you don't situation. So because it's a struggle, I should just be content where I am and just don't try to make my situation better.

Eugene points out that everyone should have access to basic housing, health care, and job training. That of course I agree with. But then you can debate all day on what is considered basic.

He doesn't care much for my playing the stock market. He sees the market as part of a corrupt system that rewards companies that lay off employees and focuses on increasing their own profits and ultimately investors without considering those that get laid off. The system focuses on making the rich even richer. In a way, he's right. Obvious insiders are the ones that truly make the money in the stock game, whereas the smaller investors are privy to the whims of those who control the market. But whereas I see the market as a way for me to try and better my situation, he sees it as the cause of lots of existing corporate corruption.

So Hemingway before I get too mired in this, Myers-Briggs helped me understand our differences much better and we've come to appreciate what we bring into our friendship. I value Eugene's social skills and ability to negotiate whereas he values my spontaniety and understanding of individual needs.

Hemingway while it's not good to categorize folks as being a certain way, I do see the benefit of such categorizing in relations to dealing with other folks.

The title of my blog entry is based on chapter names in this book called Type Talk by Otto Kroeger and Janet Thuesen. It sums up in few words the behaviors of an ISFP.

The other chapters by personality:

  • ESTJ - Life's Administrators
  • ESTP - The Ultimate Realist
  • ESFJ - Host and Hostesses of the World
  • ESFP - You Only Go Around Once in Life
  • ENTJ - Life's Natural Leaders
  • ENTP - One Exciting Challenge After Another
  • ENFJ - Smooth-talking Persuader
  • ENFP - Giving Life an Extra Squeeze
  • ISTJ - Doing What Should Be Done
  • ISTP - Ready to Try Anything Once
  • ISFJ - A High Sense of Duty
  • INTJ - Everything Has Room For Improvement
  • INTP - A Love of Problem-solving
  • INFJ - An Inspiration to Others
  • INFP - Performing Noble Service to Aid Society

Hemingway I'm planning on hanging out with Sally today for my Labor Day holiday. We also hung out Saturday at the 17th Annual African Festival. We even bonded over being amored by this cute light-skinned tenderoni working the Washington Mutual bank booth. This happened around 8:30 PM as we were leaving the event and after seeing Kool Moe Dee perform. Incidentally if you (cute light-skinned tenderoni) are reading this blog and you swing my way, ummm, call me!

I bet he's an ENFJ.


Blogger Ladynay said...

You should hear a HBCU band play Toxic! I heard Shaw U practicing one day and it was awesome!

I feel like I just took a trip back in to my general psyche class!

Is that really KMD now? WOW!

12:47 AM, September 05, 2006  
Blogger Essequibo said...

Meanwhile, after the deep psychological write-up, you wind up sending a holla-out to that light-skinned tendoroni *grinz*

Gentle, Sensitive, and Compassionate...aaight I see you. I find those tests interesting but get bored in the midst of taking them...too involved.

But alas, I do have some ISTP qualities I guess.

7:25 PM, September 05, 2006  
Blogger lj said...

I was about to take it til you said $29.99.

9:06 PM, September 05, 2006  
Blogger DivineLavender said...

I love Toxic...this is the makes you want to dance.

*Turling Around & Around...until dizzy*

5:22 PM, September 07, 2006  
Blogger Bklyn Diva said...

LOL.. good post.. LOL at Toxic :)

Ummm I'm an ENTJ :) and I have a book I can share with you.. I'll email you the title once I find it.. you might already have it..

I had to take Myers-Brigg as a requirement for my past job.. everyone was "grouped" based off of their types and it helped to create better work groups..

the two partners I supported were both INTJ's which worked well because they were introverts and I was an extrovert.. one of the mangers was the exact same ENTJ and the other was an ISFJ..

Interesting indeed... :)

12:10 PM, September 11, 2006  

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