The challenge for us all is to let people be different without punishing them for their differences … unless they are hurting, abusing, and violating a person or people for their own gain, which doesn’t even have to be monetary, but could just be about controlling others to express one’s wounded or broken spirit.
Psychology was founded with the goal to understand people in order to help them. Sigmund Freud focused on developing his methodology though one on one analysis, while Carl Jung, the other founder of the psychology movement took a different approach.
Carl Jung’s thesis resulted in further distinguishing the different types of personalities with specific traits. Later on, a mother and daughter team expanded Jung’s concept and developed what has become a standard profiling tool used to determine the best fits for jobs, especially for executive jobs and for ivy league school applicants; however, the success of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is now used more liberally to determine if a person may be a good fit for a role. In fact, I have also used the MBTI to write my company’s job descriptions for the team I will one day recruit for my social business venture, Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle.
Basically the MBTI is divided into 16 characteristic groups and each person’s personality type, after answering a series of questions, is categorized as a certain type, such as, an ESTJ.
The first letter, an E or an I, represents the dominant way a person’s mind processes the world. E represents Extroverts whose minds require constant external stimulation for their brains to function optimally. They are the talkers who dominate not only conversations, but also the majority of people and environments. I represents the minority, the Introverts, whose minds are highly engaged internally, thinking all the time, so, to not become overstimulated/stressed, Introverts require a lot of quiet and/or solitude.
Fortunately, the world needs both because the Introverts are the scientists, the writers, the artists, and the creators, including entrepreneurs. Their work requires they work on their own though they often collaborate by bringing their unique talents together. Extroverts are the people who love to communicate with others to get jobs done. They work to make what’s been discovered or created a reality for the many. They sell and build houses, they manage companies, and enjoy work that engages their mind constantly externally plus taps into their other unique skills.
However, because a lot of people are unaware of the MBTI Personality Type tool and other comparable tools available to help us accept and even understand people different from us, people judge people based on their own stereotypes they have been taught, even if they are not aware of the biases they may have learned.
For instance, the other day I heard a woman being interviewed by a news team that she would not vote for Joe Biden because his soft-spoken manner made him weak to her, while Donald Trump, because he is loud and bullish is strong. Yet, as an Introvert myself, I know I am much stronger than most Extroverts I know because I study and pay attention in ways Extroverts mostly do not. As a result, Introverts often have more knowledge that makes them stronger though they may convey their strengths in different ways than dominating conversations and/or even grandstanding, but grandstanding is more likely to occur if an Extrovert is insecure and uses loud aggression to vent and/or mask insecurity.
Of course, the actions of both Extroverts and Introverts are also influenced by the other MBTI characteristics that further define one’s Personality Type, such as N for Intuitive versus S for Sensor, T for Thinker versus F for Feeler, and lastly J for Judger or P for Perceiver.
And, on top of the natural Personality Type is the profile, which basically is the reviewing on one’s childhood, youth, and life experience to date to best understand why one person with the same Personality Type can be very different from someone else with the same MBTI Personality Type.
As we mature, it is also noted that Personality Types become more balanced over time, but there are always exceptions.
One of the greatest influencers for healthy development of both types are how people are treated. When people are treated disrespectfully, made to feel bad about their differences, they will often act out based on their Personality Type. Introverts withdraw from people, whereas Extroverts hunger for attention and approval, though both, if damaged in their younger years may seek to inflict damage on others, men often one way while women often in another.
However, as witnessed again the other night on television, the biggest and consistent misconception I have observed is Extroverts describing Introverts as shy and weak because of their lack of knowledge and their preference for people just like them. But because a person is not loud and does not dominate a conversation, does not mean neither is he/she shy or weak. We Introverts prefer to think before we speak. We prefer to process not only a person’s words, but their mannerisms, and the way a person treats people.
Personally, as an Introvert who did not have this knowledge for years, I was deeply hurt and traumatized by Extroverts who misjudged, misunderstood, and harmed me greatly because of ignorance and because of the fear of someone too different from them. The result was I believed what they said and accepted how they treated me. I erroneously thought I was the problem and for years allowed people to treat me as less valuable if I did not act like them.
And sadly, the experiences broke my spirit and derailed the life I should have been living, until I did what came naturally to me … I dove into the books to understand the mess ignorance, fear, and intolerance manifested, not just to help myself, but also to help both other Introverts and the Extroverts who falsely judge Introverts because of their lack of knowledge that prohibits Extroverts from making sound decisions for their families, relationships, communities, businesses, and yes, also for their country.
KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER
Specialist, Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and President
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November 2, 2020