Friday, January 31, 2014

My Family, My Type

Or… My Type of Family.

This is my first pass at typing my family with the MBTI and the help of the Kiersey Temperaments. It’s just an overview, a starting point so that I might write later with more details on specific subjects.

Dad: SJ, I over E, T over F* - ISTJ
Mom: E over I, P over J, F over T, S slightly over N* - ESFP
Bro: NT, I slightly over E, P slightly over J - INTP
Me: I over E, P over J, T over F, N over S - INTP
Family type: INTP

Note: Bro’s type is also here subjective. I mentioned MBTI while he was driving, and being a Psychology minor, he had knowledge of it, and quickly mentioned that he remembers he was probably an INTP. In further thought, I can see it and so will go with it unless he says otherwise. I doubt I will be able to figure it out otherwise.
*The dichotomy regarding which I am least certain.

Dearest Dad, the Probable ISTJ
I am fairly certain that Dad is an SJ. I would describe my dad as traditional, ordered, structured. He does his laundry a certain way, folds it a certain way, puts it away very neatly. Everything has its place. He wakes up early and goes to sleep early. Dad’s very good about getting his physical checkups done (of which I have grown appreciative because it has prolonged his life). He keeps tracks of dates, schedules, and expirations very well.  

Duty-filling also seems like something important to Dad. He fills the traditional role of the Head of the Family, the provider. He works hard at work, then comes home and does more (for the family). He took care of his father, having Papa live with us for a few years. As my uncle had gotten older, my dad started to take on the role of Head of the greater family as well in parts. I can think of many examples where my father was honored by relatives, mostly in small, quiet ways; or when he’s been called upon for some assistance or guidance by relatives. Dad taught us and several of my cousins to ride the bike, swim, and to drive a car.

Dad is an I and a T, in my opinion, because he is methodical, reserved, unassuming, among other things. He likes to be at or around the home, not liking to be out or away for longer than he has to be. The work he seems to enjoy have been ones where he can do his part on his own, even within a team. He enjoys thinking puzzles and games, excelling at them.

Mommy Mine, My Likely ESFP
The more I think about it and the more I learn about Kiersey temperaments, the more I think my mom is an SP. I would say that she’s an artistic, fun-loving, people-person. Even though she likes to be a part of the action, she does it in her own way, having her own style or mark on what she does. I think she prefers to be treated and recognized as a unique individual, her own person, not as “one of those…” type of deal, or as “Jennifer’s mom” (though she loves being “Mom”). Mom tends to take things as they come, not really looking to the past or too far ahead, but is present.

She’s an E: she really comes alive when she’s out and about and/or when people are around. I said, “when people are around” because I’ve noticed that she’ll be in the livingroom, watching TV, all quiet; as soon as she detects my presence, she perks up. She comes alive, starts talking, even if not directly to me, or to anyone in particular. It’s like I can sense her energy get excited at the prospect of a companion. When I don’t respond (again, sometimes she’s not even talking to me) or when I leave the room, she deflates again.

In general, Mom likes to be out and about. I think her quiet devotional time with God in the mornings are about as introspective and on her own as she likes to be. Otherwise, she wants to be around people, have her dog around, have the TV or radio on, just something going on around her, to engage her.

I believe Mom to be an F mainly because she is very loyal to people and organizations that she values very much, and her statements along those lines indicate F-logic/ decisions to me. I don’t know that I can explain it well enough because it’s difficult for me to understand F. She is the emotional one of the family, but I do think that the F is something deeper than just a ready display of emotions. Mom is intelligent, but it’s not a rational intelligence that I can easily follow where she’s coming from or where she’s going with things. She has her areas of expertise that I lean on when I need to, and I very much appreciate it. I appreciate her.

Big Brother, A… What? INTP?
Before a casual conversation with him about MBTI, I would have had a difficult time getting a grasp on my brother’s type. His strong interest in computers and technology in general would have me guess NT. He enjoyed science and mathematics. He’s a good chess player and other games of strategy. I think the Kiersey temperament description of NT fits my brother.

My brother excels. Although strong rational intelligence is not necessarily the sole realm of NTs, I would call my brother a genius. I would say that he finishes what he starts and finishes well. He’s also good with people, though, the less that he has to deal with them, the better. I’d like to think that my brother can do anything, and maybe that’s a little bit Big Brother Admiration. Maybe this adds to my confusion on his type.

Big Bro seems like an extravert at times, but he does seem to enjoy his alone time more. I think it’s just that people like him and his friends lean on him, so it seems like he’s out and with people frequently. He seems to be at ease with people. However, he has his lair, and he loves having his own lair.

If my bro is an NT, I would say that he’s more likely an INTP than an INTJ, but I still go back and forth on it. If I take the MBTI J/P dichotomy as what kind of structure he prefers, I don’t think I know him well enough to say. In outward manifestations, things I can observe of him, it still goes either way.

Like I’ve said, I have a difficult time typing my bro. I only stick with INTP for him because that’s the one he recalled during our brief casual conversation about this. I could be wrong; he could have recalled incorrectly. For now, I will say that he’s an INTP until further notice.

An ISTJ and an ESFP spawn two INTPs. Our family can be as goofy as that sounds, but that will be a topic for another time.

This is the starting point. I’ll adjust if needed, as new insights arrive. Again, I am unprofessionally attempting to type.

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