Archive | March, 2013

Mars and Venus — or Thinking vs. Feeling!

26 Mar

You will often notice as you speak with someone — whether it be a family member or a colleague — that they will more commonly use one of the following phrases or the other: “I think …” or “I feel …” This is often a subtle clue as to whether their personality is more on the thinking side or more on the feeling side.
According to the eminent psychologist Carl G. Jung, we all have a preference for one of these opposite ways of making decisions. Let me explain a bit further.
People who prefer Thinking base their decisions on universally held values, basically an impersonal logic. Thus in a business environment they might likely make a decision to hire or fire an employee based on the “bottom line” — what this employee’s services will cost the company.
Feeling persons on the other hand make their decisions based on their own subjective, personal logic. Thus they choose the values which are important to them. For example, one Feeling person may cherish the values of courage and honesty above all. Another Feeling person might hold dear the values of caring and compassion. Whatever chosen values the Feeling person holds closest to his/her heart are the values by which s/he will conduct his/her life.
In the above example of hiring or firing an employee, a Feeling person will first take into consideration things such as the harmony of the team into which the new employee will be assimilated; whether the employee about to be terminated has family to support and what alternatives there may be to firing the individual.
Feeling and Thinking are not just different preferences, they are opposites. However, both the Thinking and the Feeling functions have value. The Thinking person is concerned more with the fairness of a situation; the Feeling person, more with the harmony of the relationship. When you think about a work situation in which employees are all trying to schedule their time off and their vacations, you can see that the value of fairness utilized more often by the Thinking person is very important.
In our society here in the U.S. more men are on the Thinking side and more women, on the Feeling side. However, in my extensive use of the MBTI Personality Indicator in my practice, I have often come upon men who are more on the Feeling side and women who prefer to make their decisions based upon Thinking. In general, the percentages are 55% of men prefer Thinking, while 55% of women prefer to approach the world through their Feeling process.
Next time I will talk more about the necessity of balancing your preferences, especially as you enter the second half of life — roughly over the age of 35.

How Do You See Things??

17 Mar

According to scientific evidence, there are two opposite ways of perceiving things in your world. Some people (75% of the U.S. population) are Sensors (S). Just 25% are Intuitives (N).
Sensors perceive their world in terms of all the facts and details which come to them through the five senses — seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting. They are a bit like Joe Friday: “Just give me the facts, m’am.” They want to know How, What, Where, When, but they usually don’t ask the Why question. Sensors perceive their world in great detail and are usually “with it” in the present moment.
Intuitives (N’s) on the other hand perceive the Gestalt of a situation, the big picture. Their form of perception involves the “sixth sense,” which is actually an ability to perceive patterns and thus to be able to “predict” the future.
If Sensors are the data gatherers of the world, Intuitives are those who make meaning of the data, analyzing all the facts and figures so as to digest them.
One might well ask, “How can Sensors and Intuitives work together as a team?” Although these two preferences are opposites, Sensors and Intuitives can work well together IF they recognize each other’s gifts.
Sensors need Intuitives to provide vision for a long-term project and to promote out-of-the-box thinking. Intuitives need Sensors to review their ideas critically in terms of practical implementation and to point out non sequiturs and blocks to implementation. Sensors are also the ones who most likely will steer the process through to completion.

The Myers-Briggs Indicator — Its Advantages and its Limitations

3 Mar

If you are a reader of my blog, you will note several articles on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It is definitely a well-proven instrument to aid individuals from all walks of life and in all career and life situations discover who they are.

I will be writing more about the other categories of opposites (Sensing versus Intuition and Feeling versus Thinking) in the near future. For right now, though, I want to emphasize its advantages and its limitations.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator generates 16 different and unique personality types. Each of these “portraits” helps people identify their preferences in four areas:

• Extrovert-Introvert: Where we get our energy from, either inside ourselves; or from events, people, and things outside ourselves
• Sensing-Intuition: How we perceive the world, either in detail and in the present moment; or in a broad panorama of information which is future-oriented
• Feeling-Thinking: How we make our decisions, either using personal values such as courage, compassion, etc.; or using impersonal, universally accepted values, such as in doing mathematical equations.
• Judging-Perceiving: Our daily life style preference, either we prefer being organized, goal-directed, and having a well-kept calendar; or we prefer being spontaneous, going with the flow, and totally devoting ourselves to an immediate interest or project.

Now, knowing these things about yourself, and especially being able to put them all together into a “portrait,” is definitely helpful. It will surely influence how you choose a satisfying career, how you choose friends or a significant other, and what kinds of activities or people you choose to avoid.

But I want to caution my readers that the MBTI is not all there is to understanding yourself and your relationships. You need to understand the major influences upon your early life so that you can know what beliefs you may have internalized. Some of these may be helpful, others not so much. You need to know whether your brain operates a little differently from others. For example, if you have ADD or ADHD, you are probably highly distractable, may be impulsive, and may even hyperfocus on an activity currently at hand. If you have an addictive personality, you may switch addictions. Thus, if you are in recovery from alcoholism, you may switch to smoking or overeating or gambling, sexual addiction, addictive shopping, or any other of numerous addictions.

You also need to know how you are functioning in your current relationships. As couples, we often get into dysfunctional dynamics. Some of these patterns may be

1. One person in the relationship overfunctioning and the other underfunctioning.
2. One person pursuing while the other retreats.
3. One person feeling depressed while the other tries to rescue him/her.
4. One partner being a spender, the other a saver.

These are just a few of the patterns we can get into BUT about which we can communicate and improve our relationships.

More next time!

My Availability to Coach via Telephone, Skype, and Internet

3 Mar

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Jean Eva wants to let you know that not only is she available in person to coach or counsel you – she is also available to work with you via telephone, Internet, and/or Skype.

This enables you to access her wide diversity of skills in coaching and in Constellation Therapy right from your home or mobile location.

If you or anybody you know could use some help in making sense of their world, in organizing their thoughts or activities, or in especially in understanding themselves – their strengths, weaknesses, deepest desires – please contact me! 505-466-4990 or jeaneva@comcast.net; jeaneva@softskillsfortoughissues.com; or jeaneva@beyondthehorizonsconsulting.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

Life Style Preferences in Personality Type

1 Mar

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a proven instrument for testing personality type*, includes a number of questions that reflect whether a person is a Judging (J) or a Perceiving (P) type. Do not mistake the Judging type for a person who is judgmental. Let us look at what traits actually define these two opposite life style preferences.

JUDGING TYPES comprise about 55% of the population and are goal-oriented in most areas of their lives. This makes them rather serious – also because they prefer a more scheduled, routine life style. They like to plan for activities well in advance of an event, even if the event is supposed to be fun and carefree.

The point at which the Judging types worry is before a decision has been made. They want to gather their information as expeditiously as possible, make their decision, and then move on to their next task or plan.

In the animal kingdom Jean Eva has likened the Judging types to the beaver, who is nature’s engineer. The beaver cuts down his tree, swims with it to his lodge, muds up the lodge, and then begins all over again.

PERCEIVING TYPES comprise about 45% of the population and are spontaneous, playful, and at times impulsive. Instead of being goal-oriented, Perceivers get into whatever they love to do and are unstoppable. Think here of Mozart, who sat down to play and didn’t get up until many hours later after he had composed a new melody or two. Perceivers are in the moment and loving it!

The point at which the Perceiving types worry is after a decision has been made. They ask themselves, “Could I have gotten any more information if I had waited longer?” And they think that the answer is probably, Yes.

In the animal kingdom Jean Eva has likened the Perceiving types to the river otter, one of the most playful and spontaneous creatures in the world of nature. He sits on a log, not thinking about where his next meal will come from. Along comes a school of fish and he easily snags one, bringing it to shore to munch on and enjoy. After that, with great ease he lolls back on the sand bank until he decides to frolic in the water for a while.

You can see that these types are not just different, they are opposites. Which one do you think best describes your life style? Do you see how living with someone with opposite life style preferences might be a challenge? Let me know your thoughts and whether you are coping with this important difference in personality type in any of your relationships!

*The MBTI was first devised in the early 1940s and was initially tested on medical and nursing students. The instrument was then taken over by the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ. Research on various applications of the MBTI continues today under the Center for Application of Personality Type.