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The Writing Mother

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Thursday, February 23, 2006
Thanks Mr. John M Reynolds
I love it when there's a comment from someone I don't know! Woohoo!

A couple of days ago, I put up a Jahari window because several other bloggers I knew were doing it. And I said, "Basically it's a personality assessment and I'm so totally addicted to those things. I need to feed the addiction."

John responded, "You seem to need to know what others think about you. Why are other people's opinions so important? Sure some feedback will allow you to grow, but you say you are addicted to needing to know other people's opinions of you. I know another who have the same need, so perhaps you or one of your readers could explain it to me."

The Jahari window sort of is about other people's opinion, but it's also about finding out if my view of myself is true to what others see. It was also a cheater post because I'd seen about five others out there on the Blogoshphere, heh.

(And here's where we get into another of my favourite personality tests.)

I am an ENFJ. Taking the Myers-Briggs test several years ago helped me to finally understand why I was the way I was. It wasn't about what other people thought about me... it was that I wondered why I thought I should be more like other people. I could never find my perfect fit in life and I stumbled through several jobs, always wanting something just a bit different, just a bit more 'me'.

When I finally took the Myers-Briggs test, it was like a lightbulb went on and suddenly I knew that I wasn't 'wrong', mal-adjusted or crazy, I was just ME. Perhaps others grew up knowing exactly who they were, but I didn't.

One thing that is vitally important to who I am is living true to ones self. I simply cannot abide with my own self if I feel like I'm being fake, false or not stating my true opinion. And yet, at the same time, I do not like to be in conflict with others. I was truly meant to be a peace loving hippy I'm sure... if I wasn't such a right wing, traditional crackpot.

So I live my life with my feelers out there in the open, taking the temperature of the room for my own benefit. Do I fit in here? Is this home? Are these my people?

Lately the answers in my life have been a resounding yes.

But I still have that wee little addication.

Thanks Mr. Reynolds for your comment, you made me have to think about the whys in my life.
  The Writing Mother
  posted at 7:34 AM

At 2:36 PM, Anonymous jmrSudbury said...

I too did the Myers-Briggs test and found it interesting. But that was it. It was just a matter of interest. I don't really care if I fit into some test's label. It may have helped to point me in the right direction for a career path -- or more factually that I was already on a 'suitable' path for my personality type. I don't put much stock in those tests other than a vague compass. Friends are a better measure. But more on that later.

When I was young, I learned the value of being able to change. I found it necessary to change who I was to match my father's whims. It was not enough to simply say the right thing because that would have been a lie and easily seen through. I had to change me. Change who I was. Sometimes at the drop of a hat. That way it was not a lie, but a truth about me.

That may sound weird to most people, but it was just a way of life for me. It was how I learned/figured out how to cope with my life and how to make my life progress as smoothly as possible (be a survivor not a victim). Of course, constantly changing to match my best guess of someone else's current mood did not allow me to judge who I should be for myself.

By my late teens, I had no idea who I was. So I stole. I had some great friends, and I stole the idea of being personable toward most everyone from one friend. I stole determination from another. I kept my father's conservative values. From another friend, I took his ability to laugh and enjoy life. I stole all their best qualities and became the best person I could be for me. It turns out that my friends were actually sharing and were happy to. Some people won't agree with my choices and won't like who I am, but they are not my friends and that is fine. While I can still change when I want, the onus is now on others to prove to me why I should. If I am proven wrong and deem that I hurt someone then I apologize. I am now a strong person and do not change on a whim.

In all this, I learned something important. Most people don't know how to change. Most won't try to learn how until they hit rock bottom. That is when they find out that change is simple. It is a decision. You make it once and simply remember that you made that decision. You don't even have to remember why is you don't want to. Just have it permeate your life. Let it colour all your other decisions in life. It will become a part of you.

My unsolicited advice is that once you know who you are, stop worrying so much. Conflict happens. You can't control everything. All you can truely control are your own decisions. Make the right ones for you and your family and don't worry so much about what other people think. You are you. Be proud of who you are. If other people did not like to be with you, they would not stick around. In some ways your friends are your mirror. That is the best test.

John M Reynolds

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Serenity Now! said...

Good advice, I have found that people either love or hate M-B. I don't know what it is. I think it gave me the 'ok' to just go ahead and be me...

I don't think I care much about what others think NOW per say.. but maybe I do... maybe I appear needier than I am...

Probably not.

I know I'm now surrounded by friends whose opinions I value. I have a husband who loves me, warts and all. And my goodness all I have to do is look into my son's eyes to want to be the very best person on the planet. Whether that's me or not.


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