Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Me, myself and I

Update: Since I wrote this post, I have become more accustomed to talking about myself. Very accustomed. Just thought I'd let you know that.

Fellow bloggers, a confession needs to be made . . . Self-consciousness exists on the part of this writer when talking about herself on this blog. Having had recent experiences dealing with the impact of narcissism on a group of people, hypersensitivity occurs when writing about oneself in a post.

Okay. That is hard. To write just a few sentences without using the words, me, myself or I (and I still had to refer to "herself," "this writer," and "oneself.) I really am very aware of talking too much about myself on this blog. I don't want everything to be about me, me, me. Aren't I wonderful. Aren't I funny. My other blogs are specifically very personal, talking about my immediate family or the family that I've lost. Here, though, it seems somehow wrong to talk about Mary.

I just need to get over that. Blogs, by their nature, are first person reference vehicles. I'm not a narcissist. (Honestly, I'm really not.) I don't need to be concerned that someone reading this is going to think that. Even if they do, so what? One of the advantages of a blog is you don't have to be face to face with someone who doesn't like you. If you get a nasty comment, delete. That simple. No one has to read it if he/she doesn't want to read it, for pity's sake!

And, blogs, in this crazy, over scheduled, hard-to-connect-with-others world, are places to be yourself. It is one way to be known, understood and loved. Now, as long as it isn't a one way street and you are making an effort to know, understand and love, it's all good, right? Today, I talk about ME, unreservedly, unabashedly and unashamedly, because it doesn't feel right but I think it is okay.

So, here goes, a little about ME:

I am an ENFP. For the uninitiated, that is a "temperament type" from the Myers-Briggs Temperament Inventory. I love all things MBTI. I was introduced to it years ago and being familiar with it has been very helpful to me in many, many ways. Mostly, though, it is just fun. If you want to know more, there are tons and tons of websites. One good one is Keirsey.com. I won't attempt to give you the by-the-book explanation of what it means to be an ENFP. The website can do that better, but I will use the basic structure to put together a little picture of Mary for you.

More people = good. That translates into me having a tendency to invite too many people to things. My friend Carol could tell you about her first time coming over to my house. Having been invited over for lunch after church, shy Carol was surprised to find 20 some-odd people all joining us for spaghetti. Really, it was at least 20 people. To increase her discomfort level, we ended up asking her husband to go pick up someone for us. My husband hadn't met her yet and actually walked up to her, sitting all alone on the couch, and asked her who she was.

I ended up inviting 100 people to my daughter's first birthday party because I couldn't leave out anyone. Thanks be to the Lord for my friend, Michelle. She catered for me! Carnitas, rice, beans, jell-O jigglers. Don't ever, ever ask me to help you reduce the size of an invitations list. It won't turn out well.

I know things. I just do. I'm not talking scary psychic stuff. I just pick up stuff, from reading, TV, the computer, whatever. It creates a kind of a "big picture" type of thing that I might not be aware of until I need to use it. PERSPECTIVE. I whip it out at, usually, appropriate times. Somewhere I heard the analogy that an iNtuitive might see a duck and hear it quack, but something, deep inside might tell her, "It's not a duck. I know it." Likely as not, she is right.

If I am really "into" something, like the MBTI, I immerse myself in it. I can understand it deeply but can't necessarily explain it to someone else. I liken it to someone who is fluent in a second language trying to explain something to someone who knows her native language. Somehow, she can't flip back the switch to the native language and just keeps trying to explain things in the second language. As I've aged though, (like a good cheese) I have made good friends with my sensible side. Just the facts, ma'am. A decent balance of what my eyes see and what my intuition "tells" me.

This is a little bit of a tough one to explain because it isn't about having feelings. It means I tend to take how other people will feel about things into consideration when I make a decision. A thinker might make the "right" decision using troublesome things like principles and facts. I want to do that, but it doesn't really work out that way. Personal issues, extenuating circumstances, the impact on the people involved all factor into my decision making process. Of course, sometimes, for more personal decisions, I just take what I feel like doing and try to find every imaginable justification to make that the "right" decision. Cuz that's what I want.

I guess you could say I "perceive" time in my own special way. I prefer the generalities of time, not the specifics. When my son started kindergarten, I thought it would kill me. For the first five years of his life, he went to bed anywhere from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Whatever worked on that particular day. He slept in until 7:30ish in the morning. (See, that "ish" right there. There's a lot of ish in Mary time.) Adjusting to putting him to bed at 7:30 e-v-e-r-y night. Torture.

Also, I reserve the right to change my mind up until the last possible moment. Until something happens, it isn't a done deal. Try being a consistent parent with that personality trait. I can't even remember half the consequences I give the kiddos. I can't keep a schedule straight. I have double booked more hours of time than I care to admit. Welcome to Mary's La La Land.

With too much structure I feel confined, claustrophobic, emotionally cramped. I get y. I cry. Oh, poor me. It really is pathetic. Of all my temperament characteristics, this one is my strongest. My whole family is perceivers, Paul, Colin, myself. Well, I guess the jury is still out on Marley. She's a little young to tell. Anyway, we don't get a lot accomplished. We go so far with the flow, we end up nowhere. It can be quite comical at times.

Thus endeth the Mary post. A little picture of ME.

Note: The word "I" was used over 40 times in this post. This does not include use of words "me" and "myself."

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. —Henry David Thoreau


Juliabohemian said...

I'm an I/E NTJ. It always comes up 50/50 with the I and the E.

It's YOUR blog so talk about yourself as much as you want.

Glyn said...

I really appreciate your awareness of your ENFP-ness. As an INTJ you are almost my nemesis, and yet we are friends. One, or both of us, are either very tolerant, or fascinated by the strange, incomprehensible workings of the other :)


Terri B. said...

You know, I took the official MB years ago (in my late 20s?) and was something like an INTJ (but I'm not sure) -- I was definitely an IN. I hopped onto a website the other day and answered a few questions and was "diagnosed" as an ISTP. Now I'm curious. Anyway, question time -- what do you call it when I want the bus to be on time, but I don't want to have to abide by the bus schedule (i.e. "that bus better be there when I get to the stop!)? Or is that just plain ole impatient?!

Mary-LUE said...

T - When I took the "official" test, I actually scored as an ESTP. The S and N were close as was the T and F. I think sometimes you have to read the descriptions to see what fits. I "kNow" I am not an S even though I have learned to be much more pragmatic than your average N. As far as the bus schedule, that sounds like a P preference for sure!

G - Ah yes. It is soooo good that we've never truly been (skateboards aside) on opposing sides of an issue. It could get ugly! ;)

J - Another INTJ (mostly). I did a post about that awhile ago. There seems to be an awful lot of them in my life. For better or for worse.

Juliabohemian said...

I KNEW there was a reason why Glyn's sermons appealed to me. He thinks like an INTJ. He hits all the right points.

Lamont said...

Guess what
I too am a ENFP - we're really rare!
That's why we're so connected even though we're thousands of miles apart.