Family Business | Thoughts

An Artisan & A Realist Raising 2 Idealists

December 29, 2011
Is that a match made in heaven or hell?
That’s my Mr. (the Artisan) and me (the Rational) and our sons (the Idealists)…
According to the most recent Meyers Briggs personality test, that’s where we stand.
If you think you haven’t met many people who think, relate, communicate as I do, feel validated.  According to this test, statistically, I fall into the 1% of women who test with the INTJ personality type.  Go me.
At least now I understand why I don’t have many “friends” and my personal inclination to hyper-analyze all of life’s mysteries and mundane to neatly compartmentalize it.
It also explains why I’m no good at “feelings”.
Which leads me to my title.
I’m heavy on the Thinking/Judging and my husband is heavy on the Thinking/Perceiving.  Ergo, I need resolution to be absolute and he takes decision making as a mushy conclusion unless a better one comes along.
Our children, at least at this point of their lives, are HEAVY FEELERS.  Which is kind of like heavy breathers but with more genuine passion.  I don’t care about feelings.  They change, they are non-quantifiable and unreliable. Feelings can neither change nor define my situation unless I give myself freedom to abandon reasonable responses to available data.
Yes, my children do call me the “Vulcan”.   Seriously.
Now, I don’t put a lot of stock in personality tests.  I believe character trumps inclination every time.  I may be highly introverted in my preference while my responsibilities require a great deal of interaction with people.
I may not personally find feelings viable measures of a situation but I will allow you the freedom to believe differently.  And I won’t mock you for crying.  I will just back away slowly, avoiding eye contact while planning my escape route.
So, how do I properly nurture and care for my “feeling” children?
I suppose that’s how I get to be stretched most. Argh.
There’s a reason that God gave me the children He did and a reason He gave me to them.  I refine them, they refine me.
One of my boys makes decisions like his father, the other like me.  Neither care a whit about intuition and ALL of the men in my home are heavy Extroverts.  None of them are highly motivated to maintain order nor do they desire to compartmentalize.  All are fascinated by mystery and believe mercy triumphs over justice.
In short, they are the opposite of me in almost every way.  So much for nature v. nurture.
I’m not writing this to prove a conclusion.  Merely to point out that I do, indeed, have my work cut out for me.  I don’t want to raise children who look like me but to release onto the world strong individuals who look, well, just like themselves.  And the best version themselves that I can promote, encourage or inspire.
Actually, that’s my desire for anyone with whom I have the opportunity to interact and encourage.
And that, my friends, is the word for the day.
  • TJ

    I can relate.

    I told God to NEVER, EVER give me a strong-willed child because I would have NO IDEA how to raise them. Guess what? Yup. He gave me a loving, intelligent, funny, but very strong-willed son. I’ve learned much and been stretched much in trying to raise him…

  • Through the years I have taken the test a few times. I evolved from an INFJ to an INTJ.
    I have never been a strong “f” or a strong “t”. Also, when younger, would sometimes be a mild ‘”e” instead of an “i”…was never a strong “i” or a strong “e”.

    Don’t know why I share this other than as a young man I was slightly the type as your sons, but more like your type as I got older.

  • And kids are fun aren’t they?
    At least they keep things from being boring.

  • Doom

    It sounds like you are an ENTJ type? I don’t know exactly, but. It is a rare thing as a male, but as a female, I am guessing you are in even a smaller group than was suggested to you. As for feelings, I consider those tools for internal solutions to various difficulties, and also consider them of lesser value. My guess is your personality, coupled with your sex, makes your reading far more comprehensible to me.

    As to your family dynamics? It makes perfect sense to me. You all fill in for each other. Nothing like a familial personality phalanx to make the system operational, secure, even logical. While you can’t cover all of the bases, your family has a good set of responses for many things. Just my two cents. Keep the change. 🙂

    Oh, and I don’t take these tests too seriously either, but I can’t quite ignore them. Like emotions, perhaps?

  • Doom, I am most definitely an INTJ. At least the introvert part they got right. When you factor the high value I place on competency and then integrate that positive social interaction is viewed, for most of my life, as a skill it is no wonder that I am confused as an E. 🙂 The truth is that it takes months of isolation for me to comprehend “lonely”. Even as a very young child I would spend 90% of my time alone. Fortunately we lived in the country and I had access to acres and acres of prime riding territory so I could vanish for 6-8 hours a day and it was an acceptable practice. As I got older I spent more time with my nose in books, on individual pursuits, etc. Unless I had the opportunity to focus on a new skill or improve on an existing one.

    I have feelings, most definitely. I am terrible at the expression or even the evaluation of them. I mean, really terrible.

  • Doom

    Hmm, I wrote ENTJ. The computer cheated. Though, then again, I have a similar deal with i/e. I am quite alone most of my time and have been for most of my adult life, in part due to illness. And I don’t mind at all. But I do love being with people. Even knowing many will fail me, hate me unreasonably, cheat, lie, steal from me. Hey, but humans are so cute. And at least they don’t vomit on my carpet like my beloved cats do! :p

  • wendy

    Live long and prosper. You are my favorite Vulcan.

  • Arielle

    *chuckles* My husband is an INTJ, and you two sound a bit similar. The only part of the personality test that comes out consistently for me seems to be the introverted thinking part, with high emphasis on introverted – otherwise I either hover on the cusp between sensing/intuition and judging/perceiving, or I just have a flawed perception of my personality and skew the results…

    ‘Stretching,’ by the way, is a good term for being a married mother and an extreme introvert.

  • Arielle

    Just for kicks, I took one of those tests again, and got INTJ. Scored 89 introverted, 12 intuitive, 88 thinking and 1 judging. Still don’t think I’m an INTJ. 😛 Reading the description of that personality type, it’s just not how I approach life.

  • Arielle

    Apparently I’m in a chatty mood though, because I’ll add an additional comment to say that I find it -hilarious- how closely the descriptions of INTJ tends to match with what I’ve observed of my husband.