Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Personality Talk, part 1

I only want you to see
My favorite part of me
And not my ugly side
Not my ugly side

So calm... and now it's dark
I look for you to light my heart
I'm in between the moon and where you are
I know... I can't be far

~Ugly Side, by Blue October

Though this song is about the fear of vulnerability, the last stanza reminded me of how much personality type can affect our relationships. How often do we feel that struggle to connect with another? When understanding seems to be mutual, yet you sense a faint misinterpretation? As if the other person came from a parallel planet where everything looks the same but something just feels off. Or perhaps you both reach the same conclusions, but the path to get there is strikingly different.

These differences in two seemingly compatible people fascinate me. We are all human, yet the way our brain works can be very different. We each have a unique perspective, a unique way of processing our world.

Or do we? According to leading personality theories, there are just 16 "types." Whoa! I'm not unique? Actually, each of us is unique because of our rich experiences and memories. But the way our brain deals with the world, makes decisions, and decides on actions is shared by others of the same "type."

When two people of the same type come together they speak the same language. They understand each other's way of thinking. But, they are limited by their shared type--they don't have the opportunity to learn a new perspective from each other. And I can tell you from personal experience, there is nothing more eye-opening and exciting than suddenly seeing the world from a new perspective. A perspective that you were previously unable to even conceive of, let alone understand.

Want to know more? I'm going to continue this as an ongoing series. In the next personality post I'll invite you to discover your "type" and share it with us-- I have a few predictions regarding that....

(PS-- If any of you recognized that song from Stephenie Meyers' playlist... yes I am a Twilight fan also!)

(on to part 2)


Sarah Hina said...

Wait a sec. You mean I'm not unique?? ;)

I think you really present the draw, and the dilemma, of two different types coming together. It is exciting to see that light shine in from another source, to rediscover the world through different eyes. And yet, when things are cloudy, it can be hard to find one another in the darkness. The effort to seek out that common meeting ground is golden, though, and says a lot about the uniqueness of the people in question, no matter what their "types." :)

So glad to see you dip into this fertile topic, Aine! I'm sure you've got a lot more to say about it, my fellow INFJ. :)

Aine said...

Sarah, Ha! There are clones of you out there, didn't your mother tell you?

Openness and understanding are the best way to push those clouds aside. It reminds me of a typical INFJ lament: why can't we all just get along?!

Thanks for exploring with me!

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite topic, of course. ;)

I always sensed that people had different focuses and priorities. Different wishes and fears. However, it was a stark eye-opener to realize it goes deeper. The core ways in which people perceive, interact, and form expectations of the world differ. And those differences can be described, analyzed, and explained. It was a weight lifted from me to understand what drives me. Which of those 16 personality types explains why I feel and think the way I do.

Can't wait to read more in this series!

Aine said...

Jason, :)

I'm so happy that you've gained such insight into yourself. Realizing that we aren't alone in how we see the world is very comforting.

Sharing the process of learning about personality type with you has made it a much richer experience for me. Thanks!

Jaye Wells said...

Hi Aine! Glad to see you've jumped into the blogging ring.

I LOVE personality type discussions. I actually use Meyers-Briggs in some of character development. And, yes, I also know my hubby's type. We're complete opposites, but we balance each other well.

SzélsőFa said...

Communication and types of personalities - always a great topic for me, too.
I'm looking forward to the next part.

We do have our ugly parts. But when it comes to a real connection between two people, be it a marriage or a close friendship, they both have to reveal those ugly things to each other.

paisley said...


thrilled to see you have ventured out on your own,, and anxiously awaiting the personality series... kinda scared to find out where i fit in,, but never having been one to dodge the bullet,, i promise to be here......

Vesper said...

This is a fascinating topic, Aine. Scary too... How much do we want to know or reveal about ourselves? I remember a course I took in my first year of University on a similar subject. So interesting. I'm curious to learn more from you about the 16 types.

Precie said...

Yay, you're blogging, Aine!!!!! And what a fantastic topic!

I'm pretty sure I'm a textbook case. So I'm not at all surprised to hear that there are classically 16 types of people. (Is this like the Myers-Briggs categories? I love that stuff!)

Can't wait to read more!

Aine said...

Jaye~ Hi! Thanks for stopping by! You've answered one of my questions before I asked it. I was wondering if any writers used Myers-Briggs for character development. I have to think it adds authenticity. And, opposites are good...!

Szelsofa~ I am so happy to see you! :) (I still can't believe I've got my own place now!) Yes, that ugly side needs a safe place to be expressed. That's why trust is essential in marriage.

Paisley~ It's so good to see you! I'm glad you're willing to explore with us. I promise you'll be amazed at how accurately personality theory describes you.

Vesper~ Hi! Welcome to my little piece of blogger! :) That sounds like a fascinating class. Was it a psychology course? It is scary to recognize our weaknesses. But it is so affirming to hear about our strengths!

Precie~ Aw, thanks! I feel so warm now, with all these familiar, friendly faces stopping by! Yes, I'm going to talk more about Myers-Briggs (as well as a few related theories). I have a feeling (a phrase which is typical of my own type, btw) that most bloggers are "types" that will "love this stuff". I hope you'll have lots of fun!

SzélsőFa said...

Myers-Briggs, yumm.

Charles Gramlich said...

Welcome to blogworld. I think the same thing about myself and Lana. In some ways we are so alike, and in other ways so different. But we are very compatible.

Miladysa said...

Interesting post :-D

I look forward to discovering if I fit into the 16 or if I really did come from another planet? hee hee

Good luck with the blog :-D

Aine said...

Szelsofa~ it's like dessert! :)

Charles~ Thanks for stopping by! Compatibility is such a treat. But the trick, I believe, is to embrace the differences. I've been admiring the "couple presence" that you and Lana have developed in blogland. It seems to be rare.

Miladysa~ Maybe even aliens would fit into one of the 16 types. Hmmm... I hope you'll come back and take the test when I post that part of the series. :)

rel said...

Welcome to the personality of blogger. ;-)
I've never thought myself unique in general, only in particular.

I look forward to continuing this discussion.

Aine said...

Thank you, Remiman! It's the particulars that keep us all interesting. Glad you're joining me here!

JaneyV said...

Oooh - I really do love this stuff! Hubby and I share common values but have very different personality types. I'm looking forward to finding out what they are.

Meyers-Briggs does sound like a law firm though.

Yeay Twilight! Oh and I just re-read all the Harry Potters. They are so much better second time around. And I loved them the first time! The chapter with the whole Snape reveal had me in floods of tears. I wonder what that says about me.

On to the next post…

Aine said...

Janey~ Law firm- LOL!! I hope you'll find this theory to be as accurate and insightful as I have. Jason and I learned some amazing things about each other because of Myers-Briggs-- even after being together for 19 years!

Twilight and Harry Potter-- you must be a kindred spirit of mine! ;)

(shhh! Don't tell anyone... I'm one of those crazy, obsessed Harry Potter fans. I read books 1-6 about 7 times each, and Deathly Hallows 3 times so far. And I was involved in organizing one of the fan conferences: Enlightening 2007. Jason just shakes his head... )

Aniket Thakkar said...

Aine, Now you've got me interested. Finally, something that could prove to be of some help. :-D

and @ "I'm one of those crazy, obsessed Harry Potter fans. I read books 1-6 about 7 times each, and Deathly Hallows 3 times so far"....

You are not alone! lolzz

Aine said...

Aniket~ Yay! Another Potter fan! (As if they're rare...LOL!) I just finished reading Deathly Hallows... again. I'm hopeless. ;)