Temperament – My cup is half full.


I had an interesting week.

I had an appointment with a young teen who was unhappy. She would not say why. She would not offer any insight into her plight. She did not wish to speak about it.

I attended a funeral service for a friend who just passed away.

It is interesting to contrast the personalities of the two people. One who was bigger than life. He embraced life. The other afraid of life and its challenges. Some one who would prefer to withdraw from school. The other who taught school. One who reached out to others. He was an instant best friend to everyone. She was afraid of rejection and did not want to make any overtures.

I do not pretend to understand the mind, nor personality. I do understand that there is no one correct temperament although our adolescents through various media have come to assume that different persona are to be emulated. Too Bad.

I would recommend reading the summary found on-line. It is not anything new. Theories written about 100 years ago, by Carl Jung and Katharine Briggs, that evolved into a definition of personality types.

While these may not be correct or all-inclusive, it allows you to put your brain around personality type. There may be dominant personality types to which we are predisposed in some way by our genetics and strongly affected by our environment. Nature versus Nurture!

The perceived dichotomies are represented by the following graph.

Extraversion (E) – (I) Introversion
Sensing (S) – (N) Intuition
Thinking (T) – (F) Feeling
Judging (J) – (P) Perception
  • Extraverts are action oriented, while introverts are thought oriented.
  • Extraverts seek breadth of knowledge and influence, while introverts seek depth of knowledge and influence.
  • Extraverts often prefer more frequent interaction, while introverts prefer more substantial interaction.
  • Extraverts recharge and get their energy from spending time with people, while introverts recharge and get their energy from spending time alone
    • The two perceiving functions are sensing and intuition
    • The two judging functions are thinking and feeling

Suffice it to say that it can be a starting point for a parent or child to safely say that they do not understand why they did it.

All of these personality types and subtypes interact to make us who we are. Sort of.

I think 100 years ago our family genes were a known and the social milieu was stable. Now, not so much.

As adults we have a difficult time adjusting to changes in our lives and we assume we are stable and mature. If we impart the same changes on our kids who are not stable nor mature then there is no wonder that they crumble and succumb to drugs and withdraw from us or their peers.

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