All in the Family!

18 Aug

Dear Reader:
Have you often wondered why you don’t “see eye to eye” with someone who is closely related to you? It could be a sibling, a parent, or even your own children.
Perhaps when you and your spouse married, it seemed that the two of you thought alike and had the same values. When it came to decision-making time, you thought you had it made — a friendly discussion and you could both move forward with your project.
As the years passed, however, and you had discussions with siblings who may have seemed close — after all you both grew up in the same family! — you began to wonder how it was that the other person’s perspective was so different from yours.
Then perhaps you and your spouse had children and were raising them with the same values you both prized. As they moved from toddlerhood into the elementary school years, you may have noticed that one or more of your children had really different interests from yours, and that they also felt and behaved differently in various situations. You began to wonder how it was that these very different young individuals were born to you as a couple and were all raised in similar ways.
Well, it turns out that not only do we have a genetic makeup, we also have an INBORN PERSONALITY TYPE!
Yes, each of us is born predisposed to think, feel, perceive, and live according to our own inborn personality!
I will share a short story with you from my many experiences as a marriage and family therapist over the last 30 years.
The family I am about to comment on consisted of mother, father, and three children. The two older children were boys, but very different from each other in personality type and temperament. The little girl was only three years old, so I was unable to discern her personality type at that age.
The parents were of the SJ (sensible-judging) personality type. The father worked for a social service agency, and the mother was heavily into volunteering for worthy causes. Both of them were “pillars of the community,” as the SJ types usually are.
The younger son followed in the parents’ footsteps, being heavily involved in Scouting and other extracurricular school activities. The older boy entered my office as “the problem” in the family.
What I found out in working with this family and with the older son was that he didn’t fit into the family’s view of themselves as socially minded and gregarious people. This older son was interested in theoretical science and spent a great deal of time studying and researching what he had been learning at school. In working with him, I felt that he more closely fit the NT personality type, which is the Intuitive-Thinking individual.
Once this difference in temperament and personality was explained to the family, I was able to support them in accepting those differences and in encouraging their older son in the pursuit of activities which interested him. Fortunately, they were able to work on understanding and supporting their son, even though their own way of being in the world was so different! This story had a happy ending!
I hope you will contact me with any questions that may ultimately come down to differences in personality type. At Beyond the Horizons Consulting, we can help you with other types of relationship issues, as well as anxiety, depression, self-esteem and other issues. Call us at 505-466-4990 today.
P.S. We can provide coaching over the phone and Skype as well as in-office consultations.

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