Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Little Things

At the insistence of our weekend houseguest I took a personality test last night. I'm pretty fascinated by stuff like that and I've taken bunches of them over the years. I have no idea how scientific such tests really are but I stay relatively consistent across the various versions so there must be something to them right?

This one last night turned out to be a pretty accurate description of me. Tests like this usually make you feel so good because obviously they concentrate mostly on what makes your personality so great, and since you are reading about yourself, you can't help but think that THIS type is seriously the best one and yeah, you are awesome. But they always balance it out with a list of your "limitations" or "weaknesses" to bring you back down to earth. I was reading the weaknesses associated with my personality type and something jumped out at me that I have really been struggling with lately. It's a weakness I have battled my whole life actually but for some reason it's been after me hard since I moved to Boston (there is a whole separate blog post for one of these days about how not fun it is when a flaw that has been living in the background decides to come punch you in the face one day). I've spent a fair amount of time lately being really, really hard on myself due to this little issue and there was something about seeing it there in black and white as a statement of fact and not a value judgment, that felt totally freeing. Here was this great list of strengths, many of which I really do have and then oh by the way, people that get all these awesome traits often have to deal with this list of challenges. They come as a package deal and it's not just you Miss Katie. There are millions of other folks out there trying to make this kind of personality work too. Of course this doesn't give me a free pass to stop trying to be better. And if I'm honest I know that I've done a better job managing certain weaknesses at other times in my life then I am doing right now. But I know I have it in me and it's rather a big relief to know that the stuff I am working on is just totally normal.

Sometimes the very last thing you want to be is special.


MrsEm said...

Are you going to share what this weakness is? Get it off your chest? I'll go first if that helps - from preschool to professional evaluations - does not play well with others.

The McFersons said...

Your facebook update got me thinking about this (it's been years). Here's my ENFP weakness (a bit overstated here, but still valid):

"Because ENFPs live in the world of exciting possibilities, the details of everyday life are seen as trivial drudgery. They place no importance on detailed, maintenance-type tasks, and will frequently remain oblivious to these types of concerns. When they do have to perform these tasks, they do not enjoy themselves. This is a challenging area of life for most ENFPs, and can be frustrating for ENFP's family members."

This trait doesn't tie in well with all the daily/regular things we should be doing as good church members. My mom must be an ENFP too. We're way too project-focused and too obsessed with the "new" at the cost of the "regular".

k8 said...

HA! I was going to tell MrsEm that I wasn't going to out myself but since you did it first jayd I feel OK about it. This trait doesn't tie in well with responsible adulthood in general. I like projects-I like excitement. Schedules and details are just not my favorite thing.
It's funny that ENFP's must like each other because it turns out I have quite a few floating around me.

The McFersons said...

Things I hate:
1 - When days feel like deja vu (frequent with kids and routine schedules).
2 - All the administrative aspects of my job (which I'm terrible at and neglect neglect neglect).

Things I love:
1 - Getting off work, grabbing my son, climbing on to the trampoline and having him say "Big jump!" (which isn't so "big" these days considering the continual casting).
2 - Fridays around 4 PM and the open landscape of a weekend. Oh the possibilities...

Embrace the ENFP and deal with the fall-out.

k8 said...

gosh, it's really nice to hear that someone else HATES the administrative aspects of work. I have to really force myself to pay attention to that part of my job. But get me going on a project I'm passionate about? a whole different story.

so i'm gonna do just that, embrace that good side and just try to manage the tough side...